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The New Testament identifies the office of deacon with the Greek word diakonos, from which the English “deacon” is derived. The Greek word is variously interpreted as “servant, minister, writer, attendant” and in Christian circles has acquired the specialized meaning now attached to “deacon.”

The men who came to be known as the seven deacons of the apostolic church were chosen and ordained to attend to the business of the church. (See Acts 6:1-8.) Their qualifications, slightly less exacting than those of elders, are listed in 1 Timothy 3:8-13. The work of deacons involves a wide range of services for the church, including: (1) assistance at services and meetings; (2) visitation of members; (3) preparation for baptismal services; (4) assistance at communion service; (5) care of the sick and aiding the poor and unfortunate; (6) care and maintenance of property