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Can a woman be a deacon or deaconess?

Submitted: 10/2/2006
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Question: My question is: Can a single women be assigned as a deaconess without a husband or as a deacon in any church? Please give me some insight into this matter.

Answer: All believers are called to be servants or ministers of the Lord. This is the general meaning of the Greek word 'diakonos,' which is occasionally translated 'deacon' in the Bible. From this standpoint, yes, a single woman can be a deacon (a servant, a minister). This word is also used, however, to refer those who are appointed to a special responsiblity of serving the assembly. These are the people we commonly call deacons. From this standpoint, the Bible does not indicate that women were ever appointed to this responsibility. The word translated 'deacon' is only found in the masculine gender when speaking of these people (see Philippians 1:1 and 1 Timothy 2:8-13). For additional insights on this subject, please see our article titled 'The Operations of the Deacon Team' on Shelf 3 of the Apostolic Free Library on this website. You can find it at www.gloriouschurch.com/html/The-Operations-Of-The-Deacon-Team.asp.