NEW YORK – The Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople elected today His Grace Bishop Savas of Troas as the Metropolitan of Pittsburgh to succeed Metropolitan Maximos, who retired on September 1, 2011.
The Metropolitan-elect was chosen for the see of the Metropolis of Pittsburgh from a list of three candidates whose names were submitted to the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate by the Holy Eparchial Synod of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
The newly-elected Metropolitan Savas is a native of Gary, Indiana, the second of six children of Skevos and Stamatia (Georgiades) Zembillas of Kalymnian and Cypriot ancestry. He is a graduate of Andrean High School, Gary, Indiana (1975), Colby College, Waterville, Maine (1979, BA in Philosophy and English Literature) and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts (1984, M.Div. with highest honors). He served as the pastoral assistant at Holy Trinity/St. Nicholas in Cincinnati, Ohio from 1985-87 before resuming his academic studies at Oxford University, England, from 1987 until 1994, under the supervision of then Bishop Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia, researching texts and persons of spiritual significance for the histoy of early Byzantine monasticism.
He was ordained to the Holy Diaconate on November 21, 1992, and on January 8, 1995, to the Holy Priesthood, on both occasions by the then Bishop Iakovos of Chicago, at his home parish of Sts. Constantine and Helen Cathedral in Merrillville, Indiana. During a two-year interim between ordinations, he served as Deacon to Bishop Kallistos of Diokleia. Upon his return to the United States, in September 1995, he was appointed as Proistamenos of the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He was elevated to the rank of Archimandrite on November 12, 1996, by the then Bishop Maximos of Pittsburgh. In September 1997, His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon of America assigned Archimandrite Savas to the Greek Orthodox Church of St. Demetrios in Merrick, Long Island.
In December 1999, the newly-enthroned Archbishop Demetrios of America, appointed his former student Savas Chancellor of the Archdiocese, a position he held for ten years.
On December 11, 2001, he was elected an Auxiliary Bishop to Archbishop Demetrios by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and given the title “Bishop of Troas.”
Bishop Savas served as the Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America until 2009, when he was named Director of the Archdiocesan Office of Church, Society and Culture.