Meletius was born at Melitene in Lesser Armenia, an area now part of northeast Turkey, of wealthy and noble parents. Meletius apparently began an [[asceticism|ascetic]] life in his youth. He was the [[bishop]] of Sebaste, the capital of Armenia Prima, from about 358, but he did not remain there very long as his predecessor who had been [[deposition|deposed]], [[Eustathius of Sebaste]], had been a strong [[Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed|Nicene]] advocate and very popular.
Through the years following the Council at Nicea, the Church of Antioch was rented by disputes between and among the various sects of the Arians and the Orthodox with the [[see]] often controlled by Arians. In 360, when Eudoxius, an Arian, became the Bishop of Constantinople, the succession to the see of Antioch was reopened. Meletius, who had been a personal friend of Acacius, an [[Semi-Arianism|Semi-arian]] of the Homoean sect, was elected to the see of Antioch. His election apparently was due to Meletius' promises to both parties were such that Orthodox and Arians thought he was on their side.
Meletius apparently believed that truth lay in delicate distinctions, yet his formula was so indefinite that even today it is difficult to define it with precision. He was not dogmatically a Nicene nor a Arian, such that to an Anomean, Homoiousian, Homoian, or Neo-Nicene, he remained outside any inflexible classification. In a time when men became weary of interminable debate, the mild temper of Meletius seemed to have shown promise of a desired peace.