The original meaning of this word is an attendant, assistant, helper. It is sometimes translated minister, that is, servant, as in Matthew 20:26 2 Corinthians 6:4 Ephesians 3:7. Deacons are first mentioned as officers in the Christian church in Acts 6:1-15, where it appears that their duty was to collect the alms of the church, and distribute them to such as had a claim upon them, visiting the poor and sick, widows, orphans, and sufferers under persecution, and administering all necessary and proper relief. Of the seven there named, Philip and Stephen are afterwards found laboring as evangelists. The qualifications of deacons are specified in 1 Timothy 3:8-12.