His Eminence Meliton (Karas), Metropolitan of Philadelphia, was born in Imvros (Gokceada), Turkey, on
14 March 1951. He graduated from the Theological School of Thessaloniki from which he also received his PhD. in 1986. He was ordained as Deacon in 1974 by his Elder, Meliton, Metropolitan of Chalcedon, and as Priest in 1990. He served as Under-Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate from 1984 and as Chief Secretary from 1987 till 2005 when he resigned and he was appointed as the Coordinator of all the Secretariats of the Patriarchate. From 1987 to 1989, he accompanied His All Holiness, Ecumenical [[ Patriarch Dimitrios]] on his official visits to Orthodox Patriarchates and Christian Churches. Metropolitan of Philadelphia was elected in 1990.