September 3, 2009


Convention to Vote on the Rt. Rev. Kenneth L. Price to be Provisional Bishop

Pittsburgh – A bishop from a neighboring diocese has been nominated to lead the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh for the next several years until a permanent bishop can be elected.

Today the Standing Committee, the diocese’s current leaders, announced that it has chosen the Rt. Rev. Kenneth L. Price, Jr. and is recommending to the diocesan convention that the Southern Ohio bishop serve here as provisional bishop.

In that role, Bishop Price would assume full ecclesiastical authority and responsibility as chief pastor and overseer of diocesan administration and finances.

“With his 15-years experience as a bishop, and having been the interim ecclesiastical authority in Southern Ohio, he knows what needs to be done for a diocese in transition,” says the Rev. Dr. James Simons, President of the Standing Committee.

From January 2006 through April 2007, Bishop Price led the Southern Ohio diocese upon the retirement of its bishop until the election of a successor. He has served there as the bishop suffragan, an assisting bishop, since 1994.

Bishop Price’s nomination comes as the Pittsburgh diocese is about to begin its second year of rebuilding after many former diocesan leaders left the Episcopal Church in October 2008.

“I would see myself coming to Pittsburgh as part of a collaborative effort,” says Bishop Price. “My job is not to create policy, but to work with the people of the diocese, to lift up their vision of who they want to be, and bring them to a place where they can elect the person they want to lead them as their diocesan bishop,” a process likely to take two to three years.

Provisional bishops are also elected by the diocesan convention, the governing body of an Episcopal diocese. Typically, only one name is put forward in such elections. The convention meets on October 17.

If elected, Bishop Price would spend all but a few days each month in Pittsburgh serving diocese. He will continue with a limited number of parish visitations in Southern Ohio.

As the bishop suffragan there, he had devoted special attention to congregational development, youth and outreach ministries, and various governing bodies.

Dr. Simons, the Standing Committee president, sees the election of a provisional bishop with full ecclesiastical authority, especially in the person of Bishop Kenneth Price, as the next steps needed for the Pittsburgh diocese.

“Even though it has worked sufficiently for us in our first year of rebuilding, we will be better served by moving beyond leadership by committee,” Simons wrote in a letter to the diocese announcing Bishop Price’s nomination [link to pdf], adding “It also helps that Bishop Price has lived much of his life in neighboring West Virginia and Southern Ohio; he knows our history and understands our culture.”


Kenneth L. Price, Jr. was born in Charleston, West Virginia. He was ordained a deacon and priest in the Diocese of West Virginia in 1968, and served in parishes in Barboursville, Parkersburg and Wheeling, as well as chaplain at Marshall University.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University, a master’s degree in counseling from Marshall, and master and doctor of divinity degrees from the General Theological Seminary.

His wife, Mariann, is a social worker specializing in overseas adoptions. Among her consulting clients is Adopt-a-Child, Inc. International, based in the Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh. The Prices have two grown children.

Wider Church Leadership

Bishop Price serves as Secretary of the House of Bishops, having twice been elected to that position. He has been a deputy or bishop at every General Convention since 1976. In addition to other national assignments, Bishop Price was appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury to the international Windsor Report Reception committee.

“Ken is a fine Christian man and is one of our most highly respected bishops. He has a good heart and a sensitive pastoral touch, not to mention a contagious sense of humor,” says the Rt. Rev. Robert H. Johnson, the retired Bishop of Western North Carolina. Bishop Johnson has been serving this year as assisting bishop in Pittsburgh. He agreed to extend his stay until the October convention.

Southern Ohio’s bishop, the Rt. Rev. Thomas E. Breidenthal, says he is delighted the people of Pittsburgh have the opportunity to elect a trusted colleague to be “a stellar provisional bishop.”

“We are on this path together and a part of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. I look forward to the possibilities of our common ministry in Southern Ohio, in Pittsburgh, and beyond,” says Bishop Breidenthal.

In reflecting on his impending call to serve in Pittsburgh, Bishop Price says “being a bishop is not only an honor but also one of the most satisfying vocations in the world. One never knows what each day will bring. Sometimes God has something in mind we might never dream.

“One of the things I’ve seen here is the importance of making full utilization of the spectrum of talent that surrounds you. Look for the best and brightest, and bring those talents to the table.”

Background Resources

Additional biographical information about Bishop Price is available at

A high-resolution photo is available at

A printable version of this press release is available at

For more information about the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio, visit, and for the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh,

For additional information contact:
Rich Creehan
Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh


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