Les & Martha Nixon
Leslie "Les" George Nixon passed away quietly in his sleep on June 30th, 2019 (January 17, 1932 - June 30, 2019). He had just celebrated his 64th wedding anniversary earlier that month. Read more about his faithful legacy below, and please keep Martha in your prayers.
Les and Martha have been doing ministry together since the 1950s! Les an Australian, and Martha, from the United States - first met in 1951 when Martha traveled to Australia as a singer for Neil Macaulay’s Crusades in Sydney, sponsored by the old Open Air Campaigners (story of their romance here). They married in Martha's home church in Indiana in 1955, and traveled back to minister in Australia. The Nixons became known as the "Musical Nixons" and between 1955 and 1958 they held church musical missions and tent crusades in 23 east-coast Australian cities. For six months in 1959, they served as the associate music team with Cliff Barrows and the Billy Graham Crusades in Auckland, Christchurch, Adelaide, Melbourne, regional cities, and Sydney-and saw the Lord do marvelous things! Soon after that, while in the US, Les saw that he had a natural affinity for flying. Les recounts that he was greatly influenced by Neil Macaulay, father of missionary aviation evangelism in the US and abroad. Over 20% of Australia's population lives in 80% of the nation, called locally "The Outback." Overall, only 2% of Australians attend Church; and in the average outback township—nobody!
In 1961, Les answered a ‘Macedonian’ call to go help in Tibooburra, a community isolated and deep in the Australian outback. This lead to the birth of Outback Patrol - an aviation ministry which flies into the 55 remotest township areas of Australia to bring the Gospel and aid. The Lord also greatly used Martha, and her musical abilities, and in 1961 she joined Clifford Warner on Anglican TV for a 25-year ministry of Christian program broadcasting. The Nixons withdrew from active field ministry in 2014 but continue to play a vital role in Outback Patrol by arranging flight itineraries, managing the teams of volunteers, producing ministry newsletters, and to continuing the quest to win each generation inland for Christ!
The ministry they started over 50 years ago now encompasses 100 skilled and dedicated volunteers (laypeople and pastors), who each dedicate a week or two of their annual holidays to go to remote, forgotten and disadvantaged townships to reach people for Jesus Christ. They also have a hangar of twenty pilots and owners who fly their planes to take these teams to places too difficult to reach by road.