St. Stephen



  1. Know that Stephen was the first martyr.
  2. Know that a martyr is someone who dies for his belief in Jesus.


Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.


  1. Read the story in Acts 6:1-14, 7:51-60. Review here the definition of martyr.


  1. Stephen was one of the first deacons. Let’s look for a moment at the development of the first church in Jerusalem. After baptism, many of the people chose to sell all they had and live together. What a wonderful community life that must have been – all their meals together, everyone talking all day about Jesus. Sort of like a big Christian family. But, as in most families, arguments developed. Someone got the best seat, the bigger piece of bread, the nicer shawl. The apostles were too busy preaching to deal with these constant concerns. Peter and the other apostles chose seven men to help them in caring for the early Church. These were called deacons. The apostles continued to spread the gospel. A deacon is a priest’s helper.  He helps in the Divine Liturgy and helps the priest by visiting the sick, praying for people, etc.  Do we have a deacon?


  1. Play a learning game: “Scramble” – Make small cards each with one letter one it; be sure to have at least two of each consonant and 4 of each vowel (or bring your Scrabble pieces). Lay them all out on the table or floor. Ask questions from the lesson and at the word “Go!”, the students scramble to form the answer with the letters. Questions must be ones with a one-word answer.

What is someone who is killed for their faith called?             Martyr

Who was the first martyr?                                                      Stephen

What was Stephen’s role in the church?                                 Deacon

Where was Stephen killed?                                                     Jerusalem

How was Stephen killed?                                                       Stones

Who held the coats?                                                               Saul (or Paul)


5.   Make a Come-Alive Mural: Take a HUGE piece of bulletin board or brown wrapping paper. Stephen will be on his knees on one side, a group of figures throwing stones in the middle, Saul holding the coats on the other side. Have the students take turns lying down on the paper and draw around them for the figures. Add clothing and color. Cut out faces. Hold the paper near a wall. The students can stand behind their figure with their faces in the picture. When everyone’s had a chance and pictures are taken, put the mural up on the classroom wall, or cut apart and let each child take home his figure.


6. Close with prayer: Lord help me to love you so much that, like Stephen, I would be willing to die for you.