Located on the main road between İzmir and Bursa, Akhisar is a modern city with little of historical or archaeological interest visible to tourists today. It appears in guide books mainly because it is the old Thyatira, the site of one of the Seven Churches of Asia. The ancient ruins you can see are a short section of a colonnaded street, a temple (perhaps to Apollo), and walls of a church. They are enclosed within an area of a small city block in the Middle of Akhisar.
John’s criticism of Thyatira in Revelation was related to the prophetess Jezebel. Whether she was a real woman of that name or whether he intented her as a symbol of licentiousness, John saw the challenge to Christianity which Thyatira represented as a moral decay among the members. To those who refused to compromise with their ideals he promised “the star of dawn” and “authority over the nations.”
About forty years previous to the time that John wrote those words to the congregation in Thyatira, Paul had met one of the merchants from there when he arrived in Philippi. This was on his second missionary journey. The merchant was Lydia, a woman dealing in expensive purple cloth. Under Paul’s influence she and her whole household became baptized Christians. Lydia probably was well off; she insisted that Paul and his companions Timothy and Luke (who presumably was with them) should stay in her house in Philippi (Acts 16: 13-15). Perhaps her influence helped the church grow in Thyatira. By the end of the 1st century there must have been a sizable community there for John to have chosen it as one of his seven.