Chip McAllister '95, graduate of the B.S. in Applied Management (now the B.S. in Organizational Leadership) Program in APU's Center for Adult and Professional Studies and his wife, Kim, were at the end of their rope. They had poured their lives into the information technology consulting firm they founded with another married couple, building it into a successful business only to see their profits erased after a bitter falling out with their business partners.Despite this betrayal and the financial hardships they faced, the McAllisters held firm to their Christian faith, maintaining a positive attitude and great hope for the future. "We were in the middle of the worst two years of our lives, but many of our friends had no idea anything was really wrong," Chip said. "They looked at our attitudes and our upbeat outlook and assumed we were fine." Though they trusted the Lord would guide their path, they were still ready for a positive change in their lives. "I remember praying, 'God, I just want this bad time to be over,'" said Chip. "Kim and I were looking for any opportunity we could find when I saw on the CBS website that they were taking contestants for The Amazing Race. I just knew that the Lord was telling me to do it." Out of the thousands of applicants, the McAllisters were among the 11 teams selected to compete in the Emmy-award winning CBS series. The race began January 2004 and 29 days, six continents, 10 countries, and 72,000 miles later, Chip and Kim had not only finished first, but also won the accompanying $1 million prize for their efforts. "There were so many amazing experiences throughout the race," Kim said. "We traveled down the Nile River and went right up to the base of the pyramids. It was just so great to be traveling like that." Though they enjoyed every aspect of the trip, their journey was not without hardship. The rigors of the competition often left them physically exhausted and emotionally spent. But the McAllisters used their times of struggle to call on God, and their expressions of faith aired before millions of viewers on primetime television. "There were times when all I could do was call on the blood of Jesus," said Chip. "I thought it was so great that CBS aired that without editing it." There were even times when, because their voices were inaudible, the show's producers subtitled their words to make sure they were understood. "I think by not editing us when we talked about our faith, the producers allowed the audience to really understand the essence of who we are," Kim said. Their expressions of faith and general positive outlook and demeanor won the affection of millions of viewers. According to a CBS.com poll, the McAllisters possess the highest popularity rating of any team that has won The Amazing Race. The broadcast schedule for the show required the McAllisters to keep quiet about the competition's outcome until the final episode aired on September 21. Even their two children had no idea they had won. "I had a standard answer for anyone who asked if we won," Kim said. "I would always say 'We did alright, but we could have done better.' It was an honest answer that didn't give anything away." The McAllisters have seen their lives turn around since they won. They have embarked on a whirlwind of media and speaking engagements, sharing their positive outlook and exemplary faith everywhere from corporate speaking engagements to National Public Radio's The Tavis Smiley Show to The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn. Currently, the two are finishing a book on developing pure marriage relationships. Additionally, they plan to continue with their corporate and nonprofit speaking engagements. "Winning The Amazing Race opened so many doors," Chip said. "I'm just thankful the Lord has given us the opportunity to take advantage of the situation." For more information on the McAllisters and their upcoming events, visit www.chipandkim.tv.
Christopher Martin ’98 lives in Washington, DC. firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted: April 1, 2005