Deaconess of Cenchrea
There comes a time in everyone's life
that we need help. The Apostle Paul
was no different. The book of 2
Corinthians, chapter 11 lists the many
trials he faced. But in the face of
those trials, God gave Paul a helper.
Her name was Phoebe, a woman from
Cenchrea was the seaport of Corinth.
The Apostle Paul had established a
Christian church here. While working
in Corinth he wrote his famous letter
to the Romans and sent it by the hand
of Phoebe. In Romans, chapter 16, her
name stands at the head of a long list
of noble workers.
Phoebe is called a "servant" of the
church, but the word in the original
language is "diakonos" from which we
get our word deacon. So, while she is
called a "servant" of the church, it
truly should be translated a "deacon"
of the church. The use of this term
shows us that it was likely that
Phoebe had an official position in the
church at Corinth.
It appears that Phoebe was also a
business woman, having had affairs of
her own to attend to in Rome, for Paul
urges the Christians at Rome to be of
any possible assistance to her. Paul
pays her high tribute by saying she
has been of great help to many people,
Phoebe used both her financial means
and her own person to minister to the
sick and distressed of her city. She
was a useful worker and co-laborer
with the Apostle Paul, and is noted in
the Bible for her faithful service.