History, Mission, Beliefs

The CIA Story

In January of 1982, Denny and Sandy Nissley founded Christ In Action (CIA) as an evangelistic ministry, sharing the Gospel on the streets of America. For the first 3 years, the organization operated out of Greeley, Colorado. Crisscrossing America, Denny preached in churches, conferences and Bible colleges teaching and motivating the Body of Christ to get off their seat and into the streets. Denny ministered to prostitutes, pimps, professional hit-men, inner-city gang members, alcoholics, drug addicts, and anyone else he could find outside the four walls of the church.  To that end, Christ In Action led hundreds of soul winners to the Mardi Gras in New Orleans every year for 21 years. CIA evangelized major events like the Boston Marathon, the Balloon Fiesta in NM, Spring Break in FL and the Indy 500 race, as well as countless state and county fairs across the country.

In 1987, as the ministry grew, CIA developed and built a mobile cooking trailer with commercial equipment to cook meals for the hundreds of believers on these outreaches in various parts of the country. More equipment was built for outreaches, including a dishwashing trailer, and (in 1996) a 48-foot tractor trailer converted into a portable stage with a 16,000 watt sound system, a built-in generator, 9,000 square foot tent, and everything needed for an outdoor Jesus crusade. Not long after, CIA developed the "Family Fest" where they would partner with local churches, attract up to 10,000 local residents to a city park where the kids had fun with games, balloons and clowns, and everyone was fed for free. Through music and the preaching of the Gospel, hundreds came to know Jesus.

In 1993 CIA relocated to Manassas, VA.  Years later, Rev. Allen Byerly, a CIA board member, suggested that CIA use the equipment to serve on disaster sites. In 1998, CIA deployed to their first disaster. In Cuero, TX, after a massive flood wiped out hundreds of homes. CIA's staff team and volunteers were able to cook and serve food for hundreds of residents made homeless by this sudden flooding. After seeing the huge impact--not just on the people that were saved, but on the entire town of Cuero--Denny and the Board of Directors decided to dedicate more time, energy and resources into this area of ministry. Since then, many people in the Body of Christ have stepped up to be used of God to reach people in times of disaster--it was a natural extension of CIA's previous work on the street, and a new way to evangelize!

In 1999, Christ In Action deployed to both the floods of Hurricane Floyd in Tarboro, NC, and the biggest tornado in world history in Moore, OK. Through these two deployments, CIA saw the pressing needs people had for feeding and ministry in these situations. When the terrorists flew planes into the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, Christ In Action responded to the Pentagon and were given permission to set up on the parking lot to feed the recovery workers. CIA fed over 55,000 meals on the parking lot, and Denny was able to share the Gospel with American military leaders and foreign dignitaries from around the world. From the Pentagon, CIA went to New York City and served another 45,000 meals at Ground Zero as the recovery work continued into the cold winter months.

By the time Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, CIA was well established in their disaster relief ministry, and they executed their biggest deployment ever, beginning in Gulfport, MS and then moving into New Orleans. While deployed for Hurricane Katrina, CIA served hundreds of thousands of meals, worked on hundreds of homes, and distributed over one hundred million dollars worth of goods to those who lost so much. In each and every one of these disaster responses, CIA saw so many people come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Christ In Action has grown in its capacity for responding to natural and man-made disasters all across America. CIA has nearly two million dollars worth of equipment (including cooking equipment, shower and bathroom facilities, skid steers, excavators, chainsaws, trucks, trailers and so much more) to go and assist individual families and municipalities in times of disaster. Mobilizing thousands of people and hundreds of churches in all kinds of disasters with one goal: making Christ known - Bringing Hope to America's Families.

In 2001, as a result of a consistent partnership in the late 90’s, Christ In Action launched a European branch, Kergyma180 (K180), based in London, England. K180's core ministry is to work alongside churches proclaiming the Gospel and equipping the next generation to do likewise.

In 2018, after years of working with indegenous ministries following Typhoon Yolanda (2013), Christ In Action launched a branch in the Philippines, using humanitarian efforts as their primary avenue of advancing the Gospel.

Christ In Action’s international headquarters is in Virginia with bases of operation in:

London, England

Kabasalan, Philippines

Mobile, Alabama

Ellsworth, ME

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Mission Statement

Bringing Hope to America's Families
Christ In Action exists to extend the ministry of the Gospel responsibly by showing the love of Jesus to people in their darkest times, bringing hope to America's families through bold, Spirit-led evangelism & crisis intervention; passionate, God-honoring disaster relief service; and practical, Christ-centered training and chaplaincy.  (Matthew 22:34-40; Mark 12:28-31; Luke 10:25-37)

We want to be an active representation of Jesus Christ--His hands and feet in Action. In Matthew 5, Jesus says, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in Heaven.” We show love in practical, tangible ways to those who have lost hope so that our light shines for people to see, pointing them to Jesus and glorifying God. (Matthew 5:13-16; Titus 3:14)

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Statement of Faith

We believe in, hold to, and proclaim: C-H-R-I-S-T.

  1. "C" - Jesus Christ: The deity of Jesus Christ (including His virgin birth), and without ceasing to be God, He became man in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful man.
  2. "H" - Hope: The vicarious, substitutionary atonement of Christ's death on the cross is the only hope of redemption for all mankind: that we are saved by faith alone in Jesus Christ alone.
  3. "R" - Resurrection: The literal, bodily (in the identical, though glorified, physical body in which He was crucified) resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
  4.  "I" - Inerrancy: The divine inspiration, inerrancy (in the original autographs), and infallibility of Scripture.
  5. "S" - Second Coming: The literal (bodily & personal) future return of Christ in the Second Advent.
  6. "T" - Trinity: The Christian doctrine of the Trinity of the Godhead--God is one and yet exists eternally in three persons having the same nature, attributes, and perfections, and equal in power and glory.

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Core Beliefs

  • A Necessary Confession of Faith: "That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved." (Romans 10:9-10).
  • The Fall of Man: That man was created good and upright, however, by voluntary transgression, Adam fell from this perfect state and thereby incurred not only physical death but also spiritual death, which is separation from God—and by reason of the solidarity of humankind, Adam passed on this separation from God to all of his progeny, (Romans 5:15-18).
  • The resurrection of both the saved and the lost: That there will be a future resurrection of both the saved and the lost: That the salvation and blessedness of the saved and the retribution of the lost are conscious and everlasting (1 Thessalonians 4:17, Revelation 14:11).
  • Traditional Marriage: We believe that marriage is a covenant intended by God to be a lifelong relationship between one man and one woman (Genesis 1:26-28).
  • The Holy Spirit: We believe all the gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:7-11) are of God and for today, just as they were when they were initially poured out on the early church (Acts 2).  

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Christ In Action is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization
Christ In Action | 21465 Business Court, Elkwood, VA 22718
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