Today is the remembrance of Phillip the Evangelist not to be confused with Phillip the Apostle.  Phillip was one of the seven deacons chosen to care for the distribution to the poor and would have been a close acquaintance with Stephen the martyr. Phillip and the rest of those deacons shows us that the church first official act as “church” was mercy.  The care for the poor and needy widows was considered by the church to be paramount and even thought the apostles chose to pray and preach the mercy arm of the church was established..  After Stephen was stoned, as Saul, who would soon become Paul watched, many believers throughout the region of Judea, Samaria (Acts 8:1) and beyond, ran away.  Everywhere they went they proclaimed the Gospel of Christ, but only to Jews (11: 19). Philip the evangelist, however, went to Samaria and preached Christ to the so called “half-breed Samaritans”, with the result that many of them were converted (8:4-13). “Walther A. Maier has written, The apostles in Jerusalem rejoiced that Samaria had received the Word of God and sent Peter and John to the believers in that city (8:14). These apostles edified the new church there and then preached the Gospel in many villages of the Samaritans on their
way back to Jerusalem (8:25). Thus the Gospel began to be spread among people other than pure-blood Jewish nationals.  After this, the angel of the Lord sent Philip to the south along the road leading from Jerusalem to Gaza for an encounter with, and baptism of, an Ethiopian eunuch (8:26-39). Here was a full-fledged Gentile convert to the Christian faith. Lenski in his commentary says about Phillip … “it fell to his [Peter’s] lot to bring into the church the first Gentiles in such a way as to open the whole Gentile question to the church. Philip’s baptism of the eunuch was the modest preliminary.