Deaconess of Cenchrea
Died 57 A.D.
Cenchrea was the seaport of Corinth. A Christian church had been established here by Paul. While working in Corinth he wrote his famous letter to the Romans and sent it by the hand of Phoebe. In the 16th chapter 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 is “diakonos,” from which we derive our word deacon. So, while she is called “servant” of the church, the term evidently refers to an official position.
She seems to have been a business woman and to have had some affairs of her own to attend to in Rome, for Paul urges the Christians at Rome to be of any possible assistance to her. A high tribute is paid to her as “a succorer of many and of myself also.” By her means and in person she had ministered to the sick and distressed.
Reference: Woman: Her Position, Influence and Achievement Throughout the Civilized World. Designed and Arranged by William C. King. Published in 1900 by The King-Richardson Co. Copyright 1903 The King-Richardson Co.