300 Hollybrook
Longview, TX 75605
(903) 753-8022
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Deaconess Ministry

What are the qualifications for a deaconess?

In scripture, the Greek word diakonite is translated deacon or minister or servant. In 1 Timothy 3:8-15, deacons are serious, sincere, moderate and unselfish men. They keep the faith without a guilty conscience which is demonstrated by experience in the church body and at home over time. Although this description is directed at men, we believe that women chosen and commissioned to serve in the church should exhibit those same character traits.

The word deacon was used to describe Phebe and Martha. In the same way, Dorcas was full of good deeds for others. Anna, a widow, was characterized as faithful in prayer and fasting. Lydia and Priscilla demonstrated a spirit of hospitality. These and many other women served the church for their God.

Because of the charter given them, and as the deaconess examples in the early church, they must also be filled with the Holy Spirit, apt to teach and disciple, good stewards of their own affairs and fair-minded. At Hope Fellowship, we try to achieve and maintain these original standards among our deaconesses.

What is a deaconess?

At Hope Fellowship, a deaconess is best described as a servant to the church. She is a woman who meets the qualifications for being a deaconess and is then selected by the church body to serve the body in prescribed ways. We look for candidates who have obviously given prayer a high priority in their lives and whose lives demonstrate their willingness to serve others.

Who are our deaconesses?

Our current roster of deaconesses can be viewed in the Deaconess Roster. It contains phone and email contact information and you must be logged in to view it. Our roster is updated every year after annual elections or in the case of deaconess replacement or addition. It shows the primary areas of responsibility each deaconess is charged with managing.

If you have questions about deaconess responsibilities, please talk to the deaconess in charge of that responsibility or the Head Deaconess.

What do our deaconesses do?

Deaconesses serve the church body in such a way as to unburden the elders and pastor of caring for many daily church duties. They provide helping hands for many practical tasks and duties. These duties include the following types of things:

  • Coordinate volunteers for functions like the nursery, meals for the sick, and church dinners

  • Oversee kitchen cleanliness, supplies, usage, appliances and utensils

  • Host, plan and execute all church dinners and cleanup afterwards

  • Arrange hospitality for missionaries and special speakers

  • Provide flowers for funerals, the sick and new babies

  • Plan and implement meals for the sick

  • Make arrangements for wedding and baby showers

  • Prepare and clean up monthly communion service

  • Maintain nursery supplies and clean nursery linens and toys

  • Help with baptisms

Our Deaconess Board is accountable to our Board of Elders and reports to the Administrative Board via the Head Deaconess role. The annual deaconess report is available to the church body within the Administrative Board minutes.

How can I become a deaconess?

  • Prepare yourself by salvation, baptism, Hope Fellowship membership, and by serving, praying and giving in this body.

  • Examine yourself against the deaconess qualifications in scripture and the common examples of women servants like Dorcas, Anna and Lydia.

  • Begin immediately assisting the deaconesses in any of their service roles.

  • Make your desire to serve as a deaconess known to the current deaconesses, and when the annual election is near, talk with members of the nominating committee about your interest in serving as a deaconess.

If nominated, the church may elect you as a deaconess in the annual business meeting. A deaconess' term is for one year. Every year, all deaconesses must be nominated and elected by the church body. There is no requirement to serve for multiple years, although you may if willing.

How can I assist the deaconesses in what they do?

Regardless of your desire to become a deaconess, there are many ways you can become involved in the work of the deaconesses. Talk to any deaconess about your interest and we will involve you as soon as possible. There are various volunteer slots you can fill and there are events and needs within the church with which you may be able to assist. We welcome your contribution of time and talent whether in a team or solo. Remember, not all volunteer opportunities are managed by the deaconesses, so if you prefer a different role, we will help you get connected with the right person or group.

What to do if you see or have a need?

The deaconesses stay alert to needs within the church body, but they cannot know everything and often are not the first to know of needs.

If you, or someone you know in the church, may benefit from ministry by the deaconesses, talk to any deaconess or notify the church office. The deaconesses will investigate and act accordingly.

If you see a problem associated with the volunteer services that may need attention, talk to the deaconess in charge of that ministry.

If you notice a problem or see a need related to the nursery or kitchen, talk to the deaconess in charge of that ministry.

If you have a desire or idea regarding the deaconess ministries, talk to the Head Deaconess.