The word “deacon” is derived from the Greek word diakonos (διάκονος), which is a standard ancient Greek word meaning “servant”, “waiting-man”, “minister” or “messenger”. One commonly promulgated speculation as to its etymology is that it literally means ‘through the dust’, referring to the dust raised by the busy servant or messenger.

Acts 6:1-4

1) And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. 2) Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. 3) Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. 4) But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.