In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Helen Nixon, 96

Helen Nixon

Helen Nixon, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel among American Affinity Peoples in Argentina, died Feb. 25, 2020, in San Angelo, Texas. She was 96.

Nixon was born on Nov. 16, 1923, in Powderly, Texas, to the late James Bunyan “Bun” and Beulah Dena Nixon. She lived in the Snyder, Texas, area and in Whiteface, Texas, while growing up, and graduated from Whiteface High School.

Nixon wrote when seeking missionary appointment that she surrendered her life to Jesus Christ at age 11. Missionaries became her heroes as she studied their lives at church. Although a feeling that God was calling her to missions began to grow, she resisted full commitment to that call until she was a student at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

She received the Bachelor of Arts from Baylor and enrolled at Golden Gate Seminary (now Gateway Seminary) in Mill Valley, California, in the fall of 1945, a year after the school opened. She received the Master of Religious Education from Golden Gate in 1949 and later received the Doctor of Religious Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas. In 1983, Golden Gate named Nixon Alumna of the Year.

Helen was appointed a missionary on May 12, 1949. She would spend the next 32 years ministering to the Spanish-speaking people in several different regions of Argentina. After serving her final years as a North American missionary in Oklahoma, Nixon fully retired in 1988.

Nixon published her memoir, It’s the Gospel that Works not us, using her favorite expression to say that it’s our job is to communicate the gospel and let it play itself out in people’s hearts.

Nixon is survived by nephews Dwayne Overman (Kathy); Marlin Overman (Linda); Fred Overman (Tina); Dennis Nixon (Maxine); and niece Brenda Nixon Lewis.

Funeral services will be held March 7, 2020, at Harris Avenue Baptist Church, San Angelo.

Read an obituary here.