Kelvin Cochran was five-years-old when he realized that he wanted to be a firefighter. “My family was very, very poor,” Cochran told me. “We were living in a shotgun house in an alley – three big brothers, two little sisters.” One Sunday afternoon the Cochran children heard a fire truck stop across from their neighbor’s home. Miss Maddie’s house was one fire.
“It’s a frightening day in the United States when a person cannot express their faith without fears of persecution following,” White told me. “It’s persecution when a godly fire chief loses his job over expressing his Christian faith.”
“That’s the day that God convicted me in my heart that I wanted to be a firefighter when I grew up,” Cochran said. “All I thought about growing up in Shreveport was not being poor and being a firefighter.”
And God granted Kelvin Cochran the desires of his heart. The little boy in the shotgun shack grew up to become the fire chief of Shreveport. He was named the Atlanta fire chief in 2008 – a position he served until 2009 when was called to serve in the Obama Administration as a fire administrator. In 2010 he returned to Atlanta where he was unanimously confirmed to once again be the city’s fire chief. But now Chief Cochran’s storied career is up in smoke – all because of a book he wrote for a men’s Bible study group at his Baptist church.