The apostle Paul mentioned Phoebe the “diakonon” in Rom 16:1. The word is both the masculine and feminine version of the Koine Greek word for deacon, or servant.
Paul wrote to Timothy in I Timothy 3:11 that deacons should be mature, etc., and then he said, “Women in like manner must be grave, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things.” The “likewise” indicated that the women deacons were to have similar qualifications to the men deacons.
Compare the Apostle Paul’s use of the term “likewise” or “in like manner” in:
Rom 1:27 “The women likewise abandoned the proper use of the body…”
I Cor 7:3 “Let the husband render unto the wife her due: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.
I Cor 7:4 “The wife hath not power over her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power over his own body, but the wife.”
I Cor 7:22 “For he that was called in the Lord being a bondservant, is the Lord’s freedman: likewise he that was called being free, is Christ’s bondservant.”
Titus 2:2-5 “that aged men be temperate, grave, sober-minded, sound in faith, in love, in patience: that aged women likewise be reverent in demeanor, not slanderers nor enslaved to much wine, teachers of that which is good, that they may train the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sober-minded, chaste, workers at home, kind, being in subjection to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed: the younger men likewise exhort to be sober-minded…”
Those who object to women holding the office of deacon have translated “women” in I Tim 3 as “wives [of deacons]”; Koine Greek does not distinguish between the words “woman” and “wife” (as in many languages), so the context has to dictate which applies. Why would Paul require deacons’ wives to be temperate and mature, but not require elders’ wives to be temperate and mature, when elders were usually designated as having a higher calling than deacons (elders were to teach and shepherd, whereas deacons were to serve)?
On another note, the responsibilities of deacons are never clearly outlined in Paul’s writings, or anywhere in the New Testament. Commentators assume that the seven men chosen to serve the widows in Jerusalem were deacons, but they are never designated as such (Acts 6). This is another argument for the fact that the New Testament was never intended by God, the apostle Paul or anyone, as a blueprint or plan for how the local congregation was to be organized and function for all time.