Ephesus was one of the largest and wealthiest cities in the eastern Mediterranean area. It had a population of about 250,000 people. The temple of the Greek Goddess Artemis was located there. It came under Roman rule around 130 BC.
The evangelist Paul stayed in Ephesus for 2 years, and wrote the first letter to the Corinthians there, and probably other Epistles also. He preached in the synagogue and the lecture hall of Tyrannus, and after 2 years everybody in the province had heard the word of the Lord. God accomplished miracles at the hands of Paul, and when pieces of cloth that touched Paul's skin were applied to the sick, their diseases left them and they were healed.
Through Paul's preaching, people stopped buying miniature silver shrines of Artemis. Demetrius the silversmith started a riot amongst the idol-making craftsman and they seized two of Paul's companions, Gaius and Aristarchus. After the disturbance was over, Paul left Ephesus and continued on his missionary journey.
Paul wrote his letter to the Ephesians while he was in Rome. The first letter to the seven churches in Revelation, chapters 2-3, was written to Ephesus, and except for the love of the church towards Christ not being as strong as it was at first, the rest of the letter was positive. The other six churches that are mentioned in this part of the book of Revelation are Laodicea, Pergamos, Philadelphia, Sardis, Smyrna, and Thyatira.
Other well-known disciples preached in Ephesus, including Priscilla and Aquila, Apollos, Erastus, and John the Apostle.