So the Twelve gathered all the disciples1 together and said, "It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God2 in order to wait on tables.
Brothers,3 choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit4 and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them5
and will give our attention to prayer6 and the ministry of the word."
This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen,7 a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit;8 also Philip,9 Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism.
They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed10 and laid their hands on them.11
So the word of God spread.12 The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly,13 and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.
Now Stephen, a man full of God's grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs14 among the people.
Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)--Jews of Cyrene15 and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia16 and Asia.17 These men began to argue with Stephen,
but they could not stand up against his wisdom or the Spirit by whom he spoke.18
Then they secretly19 persuaded some men to say, "We have heard Stephen speak words of blasphemy against Moses and against God."20
So they stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law. They seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin.21
Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica. All rights reserved worldwide.
(New International Version Bible Online)