The Early Church of Antioch (Antakya, Turkey)
Around 32, after the Jerusalem diaspora (Acts 8:1), the city of Antioch (modern Antakya) became the second major Christian center of the early church (Acts 11:19- 21). Antioch was the third largest city of the Roman empire and the capital of the province of Syria. Barnabas started his ministry in Antioch around 35 and brought the apostle Paul to Antioch from Tarsus around 42. It was in Antioch that followers of Jesus Christ were first called “Christians” (Acts 11:26).
After Paul ministered in Antioch for about three years, he departed on his first missionary journey in the spring of 45. Paul returned to Antioch following his first and second missionary journeys. The apostle Peter served as the first bishop of Antioch for seven years, from 47 to 54.