What is a Deacon in the UMC?

Men and women who respond to God’s call to lead in service, word, compassion and justice, and to equip others for this ministry through teaching, proclamation and worship and who assist elders in the administration of the sacraments are ordained as deacons. (2012 Book of Discipline paragraph 303.2, page 217)


Called and Set Apart for a Ministry of Service

From the earliest days of the church, deacons were called and set apart for the ministry of love, justice and service; of connecting the church with the most needy, neglected, and marginalized among the children of God.

This ministry grows out of the Wesleyan passion for social holiness and ministry among the poor. The ministry of the deacon is a faithful response of the mission of the Church meeting the emerging needs of the future. Deacons are accountable to the annual conference and the bishop for the fulfillment of their call to servant leadership. (2012 Book of Discipline paragraph 328, page 246)


Deacons Give Leadership in the Church’s Life

  • In teaching and proclaiming of the Word
  • In contributing to worship and in assisting the elders in the administration of the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper
  • In forming and nurturing disciples
  • In conducting marriages and burying the dead
  • In embodying the church’s mission to the world and
  • In leading congregations in interpreting the needs, concerns and hopes of the world. (Book of Discipline paragraph 328)


Ordained to Word, Service, Compassion and Justice

Deacons are persons called by God, authorized by the church, and ordained by a bishop to a lifetime ministry of Word, Service, Compassion, and Justice, to both the community and the congregation in a ministry that connects the two. Deacons exemplify Christian discipleship, and create opportunities for others to enter into discipleship.

  • The work of deacons is a work of justice, serving with compassion as they seek to serve those on the margins of society.
  • In the congregation, the ministry of the deacon is to teach and to form disciples and
  • To lead worship together with other ordained and lay persons. (Book of Discipline paragraph 329)



Rev. Patty Froehlich
Chair of the Order of Deacons, North Texas Conference
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 972-562-8556
Rev. Victoria Rebeck
Division of Ministry (Nashville) Director of Deacon Support
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 615-340-7371

For more information on the ministry of deacons, gbhem.org/clergy/deacons-and-diaconal-ministers



North Texas Conference Deacon Gatherings

Gatherings are announced in our newsletters. To subscribe, email Rev. Patty Froehlich at [email protected].

National Deacon Formation Events

Persons who are commissioned as deacons are offered the opportunity to attend a national provisional deacon formation event offered by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. The North Texas Conference recommends that provisional deacons attend at least one national deacon event before ordination to better understand the call of deacon and to prepare for ordination. For information, contact [email protected] or Rev. Patty Froehlich at [email protected].

Deacon Dialogue

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Ill., hosts Deacon Dialogue for deacons and those considering becoming deacons. At the three-day weekend event, deacons make connections and gain insight to enhance their leadership ministries to connect the people of God to the needs of the world. Deacon Dialogue includes a candidacy workshop.