Sponsoring a Generation

By Beth Lueders Photos Courtesy of Marcus Rixon

Formerly sponsored Marcus Rixon from Kolkata, India, is giving back through his entertainment company and a recent fundraiser to help impoverished Indians during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Marcus Rixon gets a bit teary just thinking about last December when he first spoke publically about his childhood in Kolkata, India. Looking out into the sea of Hill’s Alive music festival fans in Rapid City, S. D., the 32-year-old was beyond grateful for how OneChild helped intervene in his life and the lives of his entire family.

Marcus Rixon as a young child in Kolkata, India

With Indian and British ancestry, Marcus grew up in an Anglo-Indian Christian home, a rarity in a nation with less than 1 percent Christians. Marcus lived with his younger sister and parents in a compact 12 x 6-foot room.

Marcus Rixon familyMarcus’ father, a welder for the Indian Navy, and his mother, a hotel receptionist, determined to help their children rise above poverty. The couple asked for educational help from the local OneChild school.

Marcus says, “I started at the school when I was about 3 1/2 years old, and OneChild took care of my books and school uniform and shoes, which was a big financial relief for my parents.”

OneChild also provided a weekday school lunch for Marcus and his sister Nikita. “OneChild school was a safe place and kept my sister and me from being on the streets,” Marcus explains. “I don’t know if I’d even be alive right now if I had been on the streets.”

The school’s daily chapel services with songs and guest speakers were a smash hit for Marcus. He learned to play guitar and piano by ear, accompanying his parents’ small house church gatherings.

Because his mother kept their tiny radio on continually, Marcus quickly gravitated to the songs of the Elton John era. Later as Christian music made it to the airwaves, Marcus followed the worship vocals of artists like Ray Boltz and Don Moen.

“Music has always been a part of what I wanted to do. My parents always loved music and that was one of our ways to forget about where we were,” Marcus shares. “Music just takes you to a different world.”

Marcus Rixon singing at a young age

After graduating from high school, music took Marcus to the different world of America, earning a scholarship and obtaining a bachelor’s degree in communications and audio production from Asbury College in Kentucky. Next, Marcus and a couple friends hitchhiked to Nashville.

In Music City USA, Marcus eagerly volunteered to help music industry artists with sound and setup for concerts and road gigs. Soon Marcus was hired on artists’ teams, and in time his boyhood dream of a satisfying career in music became a reality.

Marcus Rixon with wife and sonToday Marcus directs Rixon Entertainment Group, managing the careers of several music artists. Marcus thanks God often for wife, Abby, 21-month-old son, Elliot, and his ministry through music.

“Knowing that someone believed in me and believed in my dream is a blessing from God,” Marcus says of his OneChild sponsors, David and Regina Wilkes. In 2018, OneChild arranged a surprise visit for Marcus to meet the Wilkes for the first time. As all three hugged, “thank you, so much, thank you, so much,” was all Marcus could voice.

This past spring when the COVID-19 pandemic seriously slowed concerts and events for Marcus’ artists, he found himself called to help Kolkata’s poor. “The World Health Organization reports that 7,000 people a day die of starvation in India and 3,000 are children. That’s before COVID” Marcus explains. “Abby and I wanted to help my family feed people on the streets, the elderly and anyone who needed help.”

Abby and Marcus pledged to help raise money for 14 days to buy rice, bread, eggs, and other food staples. In their first hour online, Marcus and Abby’s Facebook plea raised $1,400. Over the next two months, donations exceeded $25,000 for 10,000 meals, helping close to 4,000 people.

Marcus’ heart for giving back overflows as he tells anyone he can about the pressing needs of children globally. “I am an ambassador for OneChild,” Marcus exclaims. “I am super vocal about the ministry, and I encourage my music artists to represent OneChild.”

Ever mindful of his own childhood scarcity, Marcus longs to see children of meager means find a fresh start. When Marcus stepped on the stage at the Hills Alive concert, he wanted his testimony to secure at least one child a sponsor. Instead, his message garnered 160 OneChild sponsors that night.

“I tell people you are not sponsoring a child, you are sponsoring a generation. That little child will outlive any blessing or any kind of material wealth that you will leave on this earth,” Marcus reassures. “It’s life changing and it works. I am the living and walking proof of it.”

Marcus Rixon changing a generation

Enjoy this free song by Rixon Entertainment Group.

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