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CRISTA is a family of ministries serving people in the areas of education, global relief and development, youth camps, senior care and media. Since 1948, CRISTA (symbolizing "Christianity in Action") has been headquartered in the Richmond Highlands neighborhood of Shoreline, Washington, just north of Seattle. Its campus is the former Firland Tuberculosis Hospital campus.
In 1949, Mike and Vivian Martin leased the abandoned Firland Tuberculosis Sanatorium from King County for one dollar per year, and founded a youth home and retirement community of about 80 elderly residents, naming the operation King's Garden. The youth home quickly became a school, graduating its first class in 1951. In the early 1950s, King's Garden expanded both its operations and geography with Miracle Ranch, a summer camp near Gig Harbor, and a radio station, KGDN. The organization later added a second summer camp, Island Lake, and expanded to four total radio stations.
In 1970, Medicine for Missions, an international relief organization, joined the organization and renamed itself World Concern. In 1979, King's Garden changed its name to CRISTA Ministries and the schools became King's Schools.
CRISTA currently operates a total of seven ministries.
On its Shoreline headquarters campus, CRISTA operates Cristwood, a senior citizen community with 279 residential apartments, 81 assisted living units and a 167-bed nursing center. CRISTA Shores, a 3.4 ha (8.5 acre) site at the tip of Dyes Inlet in Silverdale, houses approximately 185 residents.
One of the original foundations of CRISTA, King's Schools includes a preschool, elementary, middle school and high school at the main CRISTA campus.
Seattle Urban Academy
Seattle Urban Academy (SUA) is an alternative, Christian educational community for at-risk teens in urban Seattle's Rainier Valley.
CRISTA Media houses four Christian radio stations. It is currently made up of SPIRIT 105.3 FM KCMS) and AM 630 KCIS in the Seattle area, PRAISE 106.5 FM (KWPZ) in Lynden, Washington and SPIRIT 105.9 FM (KFMK) in Austin, Texas. The June 2010 acquisition of Austin's KFMK expanded CRISTA broadcasting beyond Puget Sound for the first time.
Christian Veterinary Mission gives veterinary professionals the chance to take part in short or long term missions, contributing both veterinary and spiritual help to people in over 30 developing nations who rely on animals for their livelihood. CVM's student outreach group supports 29 Christian Veterinary Fellowship groups on veterinary campuses across the United States.
World Concern is an international relief organization working in some of the most neglected regions of the world. The organization strives to abolish the core causes of poverty, emphasizing livelihood training, literacy and education, and providing clean water, food, education and disaster assistance. Most of World Concern's staff overseas are natives of the country in which they are working. Most recently, World Concern had a strong presence in Haiti following the 2009 earthquake.
CRISTA Camps operates two camps on the west side of Puget Sound. Miracle Ranch, located near Gig Harbor, is a western-themed camp with a horsemanship program. Island Lake, near Poulsbo, specializes in extreme adventure activities.
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