Seven Churches Of Revelation, Nicaea & Istanbul 2017

| Led by Dr. Mark R. Fairchild


Western Turkey was the cradle of the early Christian church. With numerous rivers and streams to nourish the fertile land, a large number of populous cities sprouted up in Asia Minor. This area was the centerpiece of Paul’s mission and the area where he spent the bulk of his time. The apostle’s ministry in the region was so productive that it could be said that “all who lived in Asia heard the word of the Lord” (Acts 19:10). The numerous churches established during this time continued to thrive through the bitter persecutions of the Roman Imperial period. Ignatius, a first century disciple of the apostle John, was arrested and brought to Rome for execution. Along the way he wrote letters to several churches in this region including those at Ephesus, Tralles, Magnesia, Smyrna and Philadelphia. Join me on this trip as we visit these sites and trace the history of the earliest church from Paul to the Council of Nicaea – when Constantine the emperor embraced the faith and the world was forever changed.

Dr. Mark R. Fairchild, Ph.D.,
Luke J. Peters Prof. of Biblical Studies Chair Dept. Bible &
Religion Huntington University


Aug 12 Sat Depart New York – Fly Istanbul

Aug 13 Sun Arrive Istanbul – Take connection 08:00 flight to Izmir
Arrive Izmir Airport at 09:05. Your tour guide will meet you after the baggage claim with a “BAS – TUTKU TOURS” sign. Meet and transfer
to the hotel in city center. Dinner and overnight at the hotel. (D)


Aug 14 Mon Ephesus – Kusadasi
After breakfast you will leave Izmir and drive to Ephesus, the first of the Seven Churches, for a visit. You will see the amazing ruins of this great city: the theater, the library, the Temple of Hadrian and the newly excavated Roman Terrace Houses. You will also visit the
Cave Church of Paul and Thecla which is closed to the public. Dinner and overnight in Kusadasi. (B,D)

Aug 15 Tue Magnesia – Tralles – Nysa – Kusadasi
Visit Magnesia and Tralles, two early cities where Christianity flourished in the first century. Ignatius wrote letters to churches in these cities on his way to martyrdom. Then visit the new Aydin Archaeological Museum. Continue the journey to the ancient city of Nysa with its beautiful library, theater and odeon. Dinner and overnight in Kusadasi. (B,D)


Aug 16 Wed Priene – Miletus – Aphrodisias – Pamukkale
Drive south to visit the Greco-Roman site of Priene. Then, visit Miletus the site of the theater where Paul spoke to Ephesian elders. Then, drive to Aphrodisias, which is excavated by the New York University. See the Agora, Theater, Stadium, and Hadrian Baths. Then visit the Aphrodisias Museum. Dinner and overnight in Pamukkale. (B,D)

Aug 17 Thu Colossae – Laodicea – Hierapolis – Pamukkale
After breakfast you will drive to unexcavated Colosse (Paul’s letter to the Colossians) on the foothills of Mount Honaz. Then, you will continue
to Laodicea, one of the Seven Churches of Revelation. Finally, you will visit Hierapolis where you will visit the monuments, thermal baths and
the theater with its well preserved stage and Philip’s Tomb. Dinner and overnight will be in Pamukkale. (B,D)


Aug 18 Fri Philadelphia – Sardis – Izmir
After breakfast you will travel to Philadelphia, now called Alasehir. We’ll see remains of a Byzantine basilica as well as some eleventh century
frescoes. Philadelphia and Smyrna were the only two churches among the Seven about which nothing bad was said by John. From there we’ll travel to Sardis , one of the most picturesque areas of any of the Seven Churches. You’ll see the remains of the Temple of Artemis as well as a small Byzantine church. Finally, you will proceed to Izmir (ancient Smyrna), one of the Seven Churches and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities of the world. You’ll check in to the hotel for dinner and overnight. (B,D)


Aug 19 Sat Thyatira – Pergamum – Assos
Drive to Akhisar to visit the remains of the Thyatira church. Drive to Bergama which is the site of ancient Pergamum, one of the Seven Churches of Revelation. You will visit the Acropolis there and see the impressive theater, the Temple of Athena, and the ruins of Asklepion, the ancient healing center. Continue to Assos for dinner and overnight. (B,D)

Aug 20 Sun Alexander Troas – Troy – Bursa
Visit the panoramic Temple of Athena in Assos and the Temple of Apollo Smintheon at Gulpinar. Continue to Odun Iskelesi to visit the site and the port of Alexandria-Troas where Paul raised the boy, Eutychus. Paul visited this area at least twice. Then, visit the legendary city of Troy, and see the replica of the wooden horse. Dinner and overnight in Bursa. (B,D)


Aug 21 Mon Nicaea – Istanbul
Drive to Iznik (ancient Nicaea). Two ecumenical councils were held here: the First Ecumenical Council of 325 and the Seventh Ecumenical Council of 787. Visit the ruins of the St. Sophia Church where the Seventh Ecumenical Council was held. In the afternoon, drive to Istanbul, the only city in the world spanning two continents; transfer to the hotel for dinner and overnight. (B,D)

Aug 22 Tue Istanbul
Full day Istanbul tour; visit Hippodrome Square, Hagia Sophia Church, Archaeological Museum, St Irene Church, Underground Cistern. Dinner and overnight at the hotel. (B,D)

Aug 23 Wed Istanbul
Visit the Yedikule fortress, and Chora Church in the morning. Then, visit the Patriarchate in Istanbul. Drive to Bophorus strait to visit the Rumeli Fortress. This evening, we gather for a farewell dinner. (B,D)

Aug 24 Thu Transfer to Airport – Fly Back to New York

Meet Your Guide


Mark Fairchild received his Ph.D. from Drew University in New Testament Studies with additional coursework at Princeton Theological Seminary and Union Theological Seminary. Dr. Fairchild is the chair of the Department of Bible and Religion at Huntington University. His primary interests involve research in ancient Anatolia, and he has visited over 250 ancient sites throughout Turkey and has taken over 200,000 high resolution photographs, many of which have been reproduced in various publications. In 1992, he collaborated with 11 other scholars at Yeshiva University, exploring the Greek encounter with Judaism during the Hellenistic Period. In 2002, he joined 20 other scholars at the University of Chicago to investigate societal transformations and the legitimization of power in the early Islamic states. Dr. Fairchild’s interest in ancient Greek, Jewish, Christian and Islamic relations continues today, and he is currently the Program Director for the Ephesus Meeting, an academic conference at the ancient site of Ephesus in Turkey. Recently, Dr. Fairchild was invited to address the Turkish Embassy in Washington D.C. and the World Affairs Council.

Tour Features


• International flights between New York JFK – Izmir & Istanbul - JFK
• 11 Nights at 4 and 5 star hotels in Turkey
• Daily breakfast and 10 dinners at hotels
• Farewell Dinner in Istanbul
• Transportation by private A/C bus throughout the tour
• English speaking, Bible-oriented, professional tour guide throughout the tour
• All Entry fees to the sites & museums
• Tips to the hotel and restaurant staff
• Tips to the tour guide and driver
• Service charges & local taxes


• Turkish Visa Fee ($20 per person for US citizens to be obtained online before arrival
• Drinks and lunches
• All personal expenses, laundry, phone calls, health and travel insurance


– Deposit Payment: $200 per person December 2, 2016 (refundable until March 15, 2017)
– Full Payment: May 2, 2017

Cancellation Penalty:

– 90–60 days prior to departure: No Penalty
– 59–45 days prior to departure: 25%
– 44–30 days prior to departure: 50%
– 29–15 days prior to departure: 75%
– 14 days & After No refund

Air Cancellation Policy: We will be liable to the airlines standard rules for any name changes, dates changes or cancellations.

Turkish Visa: US and Canadian citizens can get the Turkish Visa online before arrival Citizens of ALL other countries are responsible for checking their own countries’ visa regulations for Greece and Turkey.

USI Travel Insurance Services
800-937-1387 |
Biblical Archaeology Society, code 32335

Tour Price

Depost per person (Due December 2, 2016; refundable until March 15, 2017): $200
Double Occupancy (Due by May 2, 2017), Land/Air: $4,990
Single Room Supplement (Due by May 2, 2017), Land/Air: $990


If you are unable to fill out the electronic registration form, please contact the Travel/Study department at 1-800-221-4644 ext. 216.

To pay off your balance, click here.

Please click here for the brochure.


For more information contact:

Alicia Bregon
202-364-3300 ext 216
Biblical Archaeology Society
4710 41st Street, NW
Washington, DC 20016
Fax: 202-364-2636