Acts 6 tells of a problem in the church. The group provides food for the widows within the faith community. Those widows who speak Greek instead of Aramaic are not receiving enough food. The apostles tell the group to select seven men to oversee the distribution of food, and these people should be well respected, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom. The ones chosen are Stephen, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus. It is pointed out that Nicolaus is from Antioch, and had previously converted to Judaism, so there is at least one of the seven who speaks Greek.
These seven are referred to as deacons, and this passage is seen as establishing the office of deacon in the church.