Deacons (male) and deaconesses (female) attend to the physical affairs of a church – having a lesser role than elders and pastors who have the spiritual oversight of the congregation.

Stephen and six other men of high Christian reputation were appointed to this administrative position (Act 6:1-6). The Bible gives the character qualities expected of those who serve in this capacity (1 Tim 3:8-13).

See also: church, elders.