To serve the faithful in central New Mexico, on the Sunday of the New Martyrs of Russia in 2009,†Archbishop Gregory ordained Father Symeon up through the ranks of the clergy to deacon. Then, on Holy Saturday in 2009,‡ Father Symeon was blessed and consecrated by Archbishop Gregory to the priesthood for the church of Saint Maximos the Confessor.
The following biographical note written for the occasion of Fr. Symeon’s ordination to the diaconate:
The Reverend Deacon Symeon-Anthony Beck was born on October 13th, 1954. He was raised a protestant as his dad was a Presbyterian pastor. He holds both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering. Father Symeon has served in our Armed Forces, reaching the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy, and has worked as an engineer for NASA, Texas Instruments, and a U.S. Department of Energy laboratory. In 1976 Father Symeon married Diakonissa Bridget. They have two grown children, Kyriake and Lyle Ivan.
Father Symeon’s move toward service to the Church began in 1993 when he served as a Sunday school teacher and “deacon” in a non-denominational church, at which time he began taking seminary courses from a protestant “theological” school. By 1996, his Bible studies led him to become a strong believer in Apostolic Authority, under which he thought he had three choices: the Anglican Communion, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Orthodox Church. Recognizing the liberal tendencies of the Anglican Church, he went though formal preparation for baptism in the Roman church, only to discover that the liberal and ecumenist beliefs were deeply rooted there (to the point where the archbishop published an article stating that there had been no reason for Spain to have sent missionaries to the Native American Indians, as they knew God). So, with the arrival of an apparently “conservative” Episcopal (Anglican) Church bishop in the local diocese, the Becks joined and began attending a local Episcopal parish church in 1998. Later that same year the parish priest asked (now) Father Symeon to consider the Priesthood, and along these lines by 2001 he was serving as an “acting” deacon to two Episcopal churches. In 2002 he was officially admitted as a Postulant for Holy Orders to the Priesthood, and began studying for a Master of Divinity degree from an Episcopal seminary. However, things in that “church” were not all that they seemed, and with the election of a homosexual to be a “bishop,” by 2003 the Beck’s had severed all ties with the Episcopalians.
That left Father Symeon with the Orthodox Church as the last of his hopes to find things Apostolic. He attended every “Orthodox” church in New Mexico, even going so far as to complete a catechism in an OCA parish. However, whether it was the local Greek church or the OCA church, or the others calling themselves Orthodox, he found evidence of liberal, ecumenical tendencies everywhere.
Coming to the end of his rope, so to speak, in a final act of desperation, on January 3rd, 2005, he sent out an email to everyone in America calling themselves an Orthodox bishop (whose email he could discover). The contents of this email read generally, I am a Christian pilgrim looking for the true Church. I have been praying sometime for God to lead me to a devout Orthodox who would be willing to guide me on this path. The only person to respond in a timely or useful manner was our Beloved Archbishop Gregory, who assigned Bishop John (then Father George) to be his spiritual director. Father Symeon quickly discovered that he had finally “come home,” and was received into our Church by Holy Baptism on the Sunday of the Prodigal Son in that same year. Since then, his wife (Diakonissa Bridget) and daughter (Kyriake) have also been received into the Church.
† January 26th in the Julian or Old Style (OS) calendar, which corresponds to February 8th in the Gregorian or New Style (NS) calendar.
‡ April 5 (OS) / April 18 (NS)
Of related interest:
The Holy Baptism of Symeon-Anthony (David) Beck (2005; revised 2010)