Furthermore, it is neccessary that those who are deacons of the "mysteries" of Jesus Christ please everyone in every respect. For they are not merely "deacons" of food and drink, but ministers of God's church. Therefore they must avoid criticism as though it were fire.
Similiarly, let everyone respect the deacons as Jesus Christ, just as they should respect the bishop, who is a model of the Father, and the presbyters as God's council and as the band of the apostles. Without these no group can be called a church.
-Letter to the Trallians, The Apostolic Fathers, edited and revised by Michael W. Holmes