RUN THE RACE: Couple From Columbus Are Missionaries at UGA, Years After a Picture Made Them Famous

Published: Sep. 9, 2022 at 3:05 PM EDT
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ATHENS, Ga. (WTVM) - With the college football season here, a couple who works on the campus of the reigning national champions, the University of Georgia, joined us on the “Run The Race” podcast. This husband and wife also went viral several years ago, with “haters” helping them gain some fame on national TV.

Chris and Ashley Reed, who met at Columbus State University, are both on staff at Chi Alpha campus ministry at UGA. The name of that organization is Greek for “Christ ambassadors.” They say the focus is essentially helping students find their faith and community.

People may also know this couple from a selfie picture at a cousin’s wedding in 2015, while they were dating, that a friend also shared on social media, getting 1.4 million views just overnight and thousands of comments – a lot of mean ones about the “mismatched couple” and Chris being overweight, even rumors about disability because he was making a funny face.

They open up about it on the podcast. Ashley responded to the mean comments in a new post online, back then, which also got tons of views. All of this got them on CNN and Good Morning America, where they had an opportunity to share their faith and “forgive” those who made fun of them.

They both feel like they’ve been called to do ministry on UGA’s campus, where there are 30+ faith-based groups for 45,000 students. It’s been a step of faith for Chris and Ashley, but they know what it’s like to be scared going to college, party temptations, facing newfound freedom.

The couple is honest on the pod about misconceptions about Christian “rules,” so they want to make following God cool - from scavenger hunts to trivia to Georgia traditions.

Especially at UGA, do they use football as a platform for sharing faith and getting more exposure for groups like Chi Alpha? This couple describes to us how they also get attention through giving out lots of free stuff and “tabling” random questions on campus, which also causes some backlash and rejection.

Married almost 6 years, Chris and Ashley are open about balancing their marriage with ministry and working together. They also get to model love for each other – and Jesus – for today’s college students who may be looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right.

Finally, we discussed on the podcast if things are back to “normal” now on campus. Ashley moved to Athens and started working at UGA just 2 weeks before the COVID pandemic hit. They also raise their own money as missionaries on this Georgia campus, saying God provides! If you’d like to help them, go to:

If you want to listen to any of the 123 episodes of the #RunTheRace podcast, focused on faith and/or fitness topics, go to