I've heard on this board before that a lay person can go straight into being a Bishop without first being a Priest. This correct?
At one time this may have been correct; but it is no longer the practice of the Orthodox Church to do so. There is nothing that would technically disqualify a layman from election, but he would then be "moved up the ranks" quickly instead of going straight from layman to hierarch. Typically, when Churches deliberate selections for a hierarch (whether the process is initiation within a synod, or a clergy-laity body), they use a pre-made list of Archimandrites (celibate priests who have been bestowed the highest priestly honor ) as a starting list. However, others can be considered and elected. At least one of the current GOA hierarchs was elected a bishop while he was a deacon; he had been a deacon for a very long time, but still he wasn't a priest/archimandrite and was still considered for the position.