The word «deacon» comes from the Creek word that means «to serve.» Therefore, a deacon or deaconess is a helper whom the church appoints (chooses) to take care of the needs of the people who are at church every Sabbath. Also, they are responsible for keeping the church building in good condition.
Among the first deacons or helpers that the apostles appointed when the Christian church began was Stephen. The Bible says that he was a man with a lot of faith. Although he was a Jew, he spoke Creek very well, which is why they gave him the task of helping Christians who spoke that language.
Stephen loved helping others, distributing food and clothing to those in need, but God had also given him the gift of healing illnesses. Stephen became very famous in Jerusalem because of it, and that bothered the priests and teachers of the law, who were also members of the Council. So, they hired people to tell lies about him.
One day, they were so angry that they had him arrested and interrogated him. Stephen defended himself by telling the story of the people of Israel, and declared that God does not live in templesmade by humans, because He is the Creator of the universe. These words offended them, because for them the templein Jerusalem was almost more important than God, and they accused him of blaspheming against God. However, he remained calm because the Holy Spirit was with him. Furious, they kicked him out of the room and took him to the city gates. There they began throwing stones at him, but Stephen did not get mad or try to take revenge on them. Instead, he knelt down and said, «Lord, don’t hold this sin against them!» (Acts 7:60, ISV). He was the first Christian to lose his life for defending Jesus and His Word.
Pray today in your Prayer Journal for the deacons in your church.