Timothy, a native of Lystra, is first mentioned in Acts 16:1. Paul visited Lystra on his first two missionary journeys, and on his second time through, asked Timothy to join his ministry team. Timothy’s father was Greek (non-Jew), and his mother Eunice and grandmother Lois were devout Jews who became Christians after Paul’s first visit to Lystra. In order to avoid criticism from other Jews, Timothy agreed to be circumcised. As Paul mentored Timothy, he began sending Timothy to help various churches deal with problems they faced.
Shortly after the events recorded in Acts, Paul travels back to Ephesus with Timothy, who remains to serve as bishop (sort of like a district president in the LC-MS). Around ad 64, Paul writes to Timothy, calling him his “true son in the faith” (1 Timothy 1:2). Paul encourages Timothy, who is rather young to be serving as a bishop, saying, “Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but be an example to the believers in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).
When Paul was once again imprisoned in Rome, this time chained in a dungeon, he wrote one last letter to Timothy around ad 67. In 2 Timothy 3:14-17, Paul encouraged Timothy saying, “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Timothy went to be with Paul during his final days, and then returned to serve in Ephesus for approximately 30 years. At some point, Timothy was imprisoned and released, and in ad 97 he was martyred for his faith. While the Eastern Orthodox Church designates January 22 for Timothy, and the Roman Catholic Church designates January 26, the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod sets aside January 24 as the festival day for Timothy.