Rev. Fr. Symeon Halsell
Senior Pastor, Fr. Symeon Halsell, was raised in Southern California and has been a Christian all his life. He was introduced to the Orthodox faith through a forum of people interested in ‘ancient christianity’ on myspace.com. After a few years of studying and preparation he was baptized into the Faith on April 26, 2008. Soon after, he met his wife, Kh. Cayce-Marie at Camp St. Nicholas. Khouria is the daughter of Fr. David and Kh. Caryn Kruse. She is an iconographer and therapeutic horsemanship instructor. In 2014 their son Nikolai was placed with them at eight days old and their adoption process was finalized in 2016. After serving as a subdeacon for several years at St. Peter in Pomona, CA, Fr. Symeon was given the blessing to attend St. Vladimir’s Seminary in 2017. While at seminary Kh. Cayce-Marie had the honor and joy of singing in the St. Vladimir Seminary Chorale. Fr. Symeon was ordained to the Diaconate in 2018 then to the Holy Priesthood on August 11, 2019 by His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph. In 2020 Fr. Symeon graduated with a Masters of Divinity from St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in Yonkers, NY. From March-July of 2020, he served as the interim-pastor at St. Peter Antiochian Orthodox Church in Pomona, CA. He, Khouria Cayce, and Niko moved to Santa Barbara in August of 2020, when Fr..Symeon began his ministry as Assistant Pastor at St. Athanasius. He became Senior Pastor on January 1, 2022, upon the retirement of Fr. Nicholas Speier.