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Nixons Reach Fifty Years Together

Les Nixon family at their 50th Jubilee Celebration at Martha's home Church, Mt. Tabor Church, Salem, Indiana (USA)

Photo of the Les Nixon family at their 50th Jubilee Celebration at Martha's home Church, Mt. Tabor Church, Salem, Indiana (USA), June 5, 2005, where they were married in 1955. Includes Les and Martha, David, Michael, Danielle and Matthew, Jonathan and Elizabeth, Daniel and Caleb (Rachel at work in Sydney at the time), Graham and Jo Ann Barnett, Michelle Riabkoff, Elaine and Catherine Lomas.

NOTE: Click HERE to see the Assist News Service Special Report.

Nixons Celebrate Their 50th Anniversary

Someone said the awesome part about Les & Martha Nixon’s 50th Anniversary June 4/5th, was the deep affection that closed the gap of the years between long-separated family members. A tribe of thirty Nixons descended in a day upon the small town of Salem, Indiana, where Martha was born and raised.

They came for an anniversary—not a display, meeting or mission. It was all about family. Martha had not been ‘home’ in many years, and this was the first time the whole Nixon family had been together at the same time at the one place in twenty years. Memories of childhood and teen years in Sydney flooded back and fellowship was renewed between relatives who live on different continents. There were no shadows.

A hundred guests attended the sit-down Anniversary Dinner at the Mt. Tabor Christian Church, situated among the vast corn fields of southern Indiana, where teenager Martha was raised in the 30’s & 40’s. An endless list of cousins turned up, and nieces and nephews, fascinated to be part of a modern day Acts 28:28. Martha’s 93 y/o Mother, Mrs. Ruby Humphrey was with her daughter and Martha’s six brothers and their families. Mrs. Humphrey regaled the families with endless country yarns of how tough it was in the depression and war years, and told Les publicly that she was thankful to God that her Martha Blanche Chastain married the right man, and became a fellow-servant of the Lord she loved, too. Flowers came from 86 y/o Nell Mills in the UK too, the lady who invited the Nixons to outback Tibooburra in 1961, from which Outback Patrol sprung. Aviators from the 50’s commended the ministry, which carried on from their flying days together as in Psalm 126:8.

Ten A.M. Sunday morning the Campbellsburg/Salem district joined in a special Church service also, were Pastor Ross Logan interviewed Les and Martha about their life in Australia, then led them in a renewal of the wedding vows they made there in 1955. Pastor Logan preached with the II Timothy 1 emphasis on the influence of God’s people upon the young man Timothy that attracted him to Paul and his missionary work. He likened that to the call to be involved in world missions today, and of America’s Martha Chastain joining Australia’s Leslie Nixon for evangelism.

The three Nixon sons hosted the weekend. Four y/o grandson Caleb was the focus of much attention and came from Sydney with his dad Daniel. Another son Jonathan, and wife Beth came from Los Angeles. Eldest son David and his three adult children flew from Florida, and big-and-little ‘sisters’ Elaine Lomas, and Michelle Riabkoff came from Canberra and Sydney. Les’ brother Max and his wife Helen flew in also, and were hosted by Martha’s brothers families. Notable also were Dr. John & Mrs. Darlene Ankerberg from Chattanooga, Tennessee with 78-y/o Gospel musician, Patricia Macaulay who brought Martha to Australia in 1951 when the Macaulay Musical Messengers led OAC sponsored city wide crusades. Darlene was the 9 y/o flowergirl in '55.

Ankerberg’s numerous works on Christian Apologetics are in high demand and studied widely. Australian’s Allan and Pam Gardner of AFC International spoke warmly of their early days together with OAC’s Jim Duffecy, Dick Hall and Les Werry in Sydney. Dr. Graham Barnett from Grand Rapids Michigan sang lines from a dozen of Martha’s songs from the past while Jo Ann Barnett played. Jo Ann was the teenager pianist/organist the Nixons brought to Gospel work in Australia in 1956, and Graham Barnett is the Sydney Doctor she married in 1963. Everyone seemed to be counted as important in the progress of Christian work on two continents.

Missionary Bill Myers from Jakarta added a deeper presence yet with reports of Aussie survivor support to Christians after the Banda Ache Tsunami. More Aussies in the US and Canada phoned in their congratulations, too. And the Pastor at Sydney’s Narwee Baptist Church phoned during the dinner, with friendly congratulations and a word of encouragement, which was heard by all during the Sydney Sunday Morning Worship Service.

Grandson Matthew played dramatic trumpet voluntaries, and grand-daughter Danielle videoed the proceedings and nephew Tim Chastain sang a rousing Gospel melody. Even the little children brought smiles of pleasure in the church as they played a Gospel song on a dozen quaint bells. A fifteen minute video/DVD was screened, created from highlights of the parent’s years. Gasps of wonder were heard when locals recognised themselves at fifty years before, and they saw Les and Martha as children, teens, at college, marriage service, 50’s evangelism, ‘59 Billy Graham Crusades, family, Martha’s TV programs, and the patrol planes flying and the outback schools. Kleenex did a roaring trade. A score of friends had kind words to relay, with humour and classic Aussie candour, and much affection. In it all glory was instantly reflected to their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Sunday morning, Pastor Logan brought the weekend to a glorious conclusion when he extended an invitation for young people to respond to the call of Jesus Christ, for salvation, for service and for missions. He predicted that the blessings of the Nixons’ return to Mt. Tabor would continue in the district for a very long time to come.

After a holiday with their family, Les & Martha, (with Daniel and Caleb, Max, Helen, Elaine and Michelle) returned to Sydney to continue their ministry at Outback Patrol.

NOTE: Click HERE to see the Assist News Service Special Report.

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