Pittsburgh elects Ketlen A. Solak as its ninth bishop

Posted Jun 28, 2021

The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh elected the Rev. Ketlen A. Solak as its ninth bishop during a special election convention on June 26. Photo: Diocese of Pittsburgh

[Diocese of Pittsburgh] The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh has elected the Rev. Ketlen A. Solak as its next bishop. Solak, born and raised in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, currently serves as rector of Brandywine Collaborative Ministries in Wilmington, Delaware. She will be consecrated and installed as the ninth bishop of Pittsburgh on Nov. 13, succeeding Bishop Dorsey McConnell, who is retiring.

“I am ready to become a Pittsburgher for Jesus!” Solak said in an address to the diocese moments 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 chosen by clergy and lay leaders representing each parish of the diocese during a special convention held on June 26 solely for the purpose of electing a bishop from a slate of five nominees. She was elected on the third round of balloting with 56% of the clergy votes and 54% of lay votes.  A majority of both clergy and lay votes in the same round was needed for election.

“We are so grateful for the historic election of Ketlen Solak as the ninth bishop of Pittsburgh.  She is a dynamic and collaborative leader who will support us in our ministries of sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ, welcoming all of God’s people, and working for justice and peace in our world,” said the Rev. Noah Evans, president of the diocesan standing committee, the senior governing body that oversaw the election process.

The other nominees were the Very Rev. Kim L. Coleman, rector of Trinity Episcopal Church, Arlington, Virginia; the Rev. Scott A. Gunn, executive director of Forward Movement, based in Cincinnati, Ohio; the Rev. Jeffrey D. Murph, rector of St. Thomas Church, Oakmont, Pennsylvania; and the Rev. Diana L. Wilcox, rector of Christ Church in Bloomfield and Glen Ridge, New Jersey.

The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh spans seven counties in southwestern Pennsylvania.  Its 34 actively participating congregations serve approximately 9,072 parishioners.