By Kirk Petersen

The Rev. Dr. Ketlen Solak, who currently leads three Episcopal congregations in Wilmington, Delaware, was elected on the third ballot to serve as the IX Bishop of Pittsburgh, at an online convention held June 26.

She will succeed the Rt. Rev. Dorsey McConnell, who has served since 2012, on November 13, when she will be consecrated at Calvary Episcopal Church.

“I am ready to become a Pittsburgher for Jesus!” Solak said after being elected.

“I am deeply moved. God has done this. With God’s help you have discerned and elected a new bishop, and I am humbled by the honor of the one being chosen. The future of your diocese, which is soon to become our diocese, is bright.”

The bishop-elect was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. She received master of divinity and doctor of ministry degrees from Virginia Theological Seminary, and was ordained as a priest in the Diocese of Virginia in 2005. She served as associate rector at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Alexandria, Virginia, until 2014, when she began her ministry at Brandywine Collaborative Ministries in Wilmington. She currently also serves as a member of the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Delaware, and has been a deputy to the General Convention.

Solak was elected from a slate of five candidates. The other candidates were:

  • The Very Rev. Kim L. Coleman, rector, Trinity Episcopal Church, Arlington, Virginia
  • The Rev. Canon Scott A. Gunn, executive director, Forward Movement, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • The Rev. Jeffrey D. Murph, rector, St. Thomas Church, Oakmont, Pennsylvania
  • The Rev. Diana L. Wilcox, rector, Christ Church in Bloomfield & Glen Ridge, Glen Ridge, New Jersey.

Pittsburgh is one of the dioceses where the bishop led a majority of the congregations out of the Episcopal Church earlier this century. The diocese comprises 12 counties in southwestern Pennsylvania, and is one of five dioceses in the state.