Family Life Pregnancy Center will soon say goodbye to its executive director after 26 years of service.

Kim Nixon first started at the nonprofit organization in 1993 when it was called the Crisis Pregnancy Center of Tehachapi. She started as a client advocate volunteer, and officially took over the reins as the executive director in late 1995. The board changed the name to Family Life in 1999.

Originally located on J Street, the center has relocated a few times before settling at its current location in its historic and quite lovely two-story building, which Nixon calls “The Door of Hope,” at 112 S. Curry St.

“I moved the center to all the locations,” said Nixon.

Upon arriving as a volunteer, Nixon said, the center provided pregnancy testing and counseling and distributed diapers. The types of services it now provides have greatly expanded to include adoption referrals, the “Earn While You Learn” parenting program, a baby boutique, post-abortion counseling and education, childbirth classes, grief counseling for miscarriage and infant death and pregnancy confirmation ultrasounds.

“All of those services have been added since I have been here as the director, as God has led and directed the needs of the ministry,” Nixon said.

As the town grows, the executive director said, the needs of the clients have changed over the years.

“We want to be on the forefront of meeting those needs, and all of our services are completely free,” she said.

As a faith-based nonprofit organization, the center relies solely on raising its own funding through the generous support of individuals, businesses and churches locally in addition to its three key fundraisers held each year: a banquet in March, Baby Bottle Drive from Mother’s Day to Father’s Day and Evening For Life held in September.

“This community is probably one of the most giving communities around,” Nixon said. “God always provides for this ministry, and we are always blessed, so we don’t stress about it a whole lot.”

Bob Williams, chairperson of the Family Life Pregnancy Center board, said the board has been very blessed to have Nixon lead the center over the years.

“She came as a high-level manager, and having love and compassion that is so evident. She has a love for life, and for these babies and all the people that come into the center. She has had a great reliance on the power of prayer, and her dependence on God, as well. These things are very important,” said Williams, who went on to say that the center is equally blessed to have somebody like Rhonda Creten, who has the same compassion and the same passion for the Lord, to step in.

Rhonda Creten will take over as the center’s new executive director upon Nixon’s departure.

“She has knowledge of all of the functions of the center, and is very well respected,” Williams said.

Creten also started as a client advocate volunteer and has served on the staff over the past 10 years.

Said Nixon, “It is her heart. The center is going to be in great hands with Rhonda at the helm.”

Creten said she is excited about continuing on at the center as the new executive director.

“We hope to build on the foundation that is already here to continue to increase opportunities for abundant life for our clients and their families,” Creten said.

As for the clients, Creten said she wanted to reassure them that Family Life Pregnancy Center will continue to offer the same hope and compassion that has always been at the center.

So what does the future hold for the outgoing executive director?

“You know what? I don’t really know,” laughed Nixon. However, she still plans to continue serving on the city’s Planning Commission, chairing the Tehachapi Police Foundation, operating three local businesses with her husband, remaining involved with her church and spending time with her daughter and two grandchildren.

“Basically, I will do whatever God places before me,” Nixon said.

For more information, call the Family Life Pregnancy Center at 823-8255.