At every conference we hear from those who attend, “If I had only realized how powerful and life-changing this conference was going to be, I would have invited every man I know!”
Here is an invitation that you can share for the Stand Courageous Men’s Conference to encourage men to join you on June 3, 2023, 7 a.m. at Houston’s First Baptist Church.
Kelvin Cochran Was Persecuted In The Workplace Because Of His Views On Marriage
What would you do if you were fired from your job on account of your biblical convictions? On Saturday, June 3, 2023 at Houston’s First Baptist Church, men can hear from former U.S. Fire Administrator and former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran, a courageous first responder who met with that very challenge.
First responders like Kelvin are frequently in the news for their heroic efforts — such as the Louisville police officers who unflinchingly ran into gunfire, taking down a shooter and saving innocent lives, or all the dedicated first responders who have shown up in force to bring much-needed assistance to thousands after a string of catastrophic tornadoes across the country.
Most Americans love and appreciate those who willingly put themselves in harm’s way daily to serve and protect. Kelvin Cochran dedicated over thirty years of his life to fighting fires and protecting the communities in which he lived and worked. For Kelvin, losing the job he loved because of his deeply held beliefs came as a shock.
After being born into extreme poverty in Shreveport, Louisiana, Kelvin Cochran knew he wanted more out of life. At age five, he decided he wanted to be a firefighter after watching firemen fight a fire that had started in his neighbor’s house.
Kelvin got his start in his hometown and worked his way up the ranks to become its fire chief in 1999. He served in that role until he was appointed fire chief for the city of Atlanta in 2008.
His exemplary service record drew the attention of President Barack Obama–D, who in 2009 appointed Kelvin as the U.S. fire administrator for the U.S. Fire Administration, the highest office in the profession. After the Atlanta begged him to return, Kelvin resumed his post as Atlanta fire chief in 2010.
Kelvin is actively involved at Elizabeth Baptist Church, where he is a deacon and leads a men’s Bible study. Inspired by his faith, he wrote Who Told You That You Were Naked?, a book that details the state of man since the fall of Adam in the Book of Genesis. The book briefly discusses the clear biblical teaching that sex is to be reserved for marriage between a man and a woman. The mere statement of this well-known Christian belief (in a book Kelvin wrote for men’s Bible study in his own time while he was off-duty) drew the ire of people who claim that Kelvin shouldn’t be able to keep his job because his thoughts and beliefs don’t conform to theirs.
The city of Atlanta initially suspended Kelvin for 30 days without pay and ordered that he undergo sensitivity training. An investigation soon revealed that he had not discriminated against anyone, but he was fired at the end of his suspension anyway.
Standing For The Bible Has Severe Consequences In America
Standing for biblical principles — including what the Bible says about heterosexual marriage — is under concentrated and strategic attack in America; and many ask, how did this happen?
If we are going to explore that question, we need to start at the beginning. Satan has been working to get humans to doubt and reject God’s goodness and instructions ever since he the Adversary asked the first human couple, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1). In other words, Satan was asking Adam and Eve, “Did God really say that?”
So, what’s to be done? The best way to start is by being grounded in a biblical worldview and teaching it to those in your sphere of influence. The book of Proverbs advises us, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:60). In the original Hebrew, these two words “train up” mean “touch the palate of.” Hebrew mothers would chew up food and gently touch their child’s palate with their finger, creating an appetite, a taste, or desire to have more of that food. Our lives and influence must create a taste for God in our children.
There has never been a greater need in America for godly men to stand strong and courageous for the faith, and with intentionality pour a biblical worldview into their families, churches, and communities.
FRC President Tony Perkins Wants To Lift America Up From Despair
She threatened to jump and would have died if she did. The volunteer chaplain who encountered her that day suddenly found himself managing a major crisis.
That chaplain, Tony Perkins, the president of Family Research Council will be speaking to men in Houston, Texas about how to give others life-giving spiritual guidance at the Stand Courageous Conference at Houston’s First Baptist Church on June 3, 2023.
“A few years ago, during an eventful family vacation, we found ourselves blockaded on a bridge by police vehicles on both ends. It took me a few minutes to figure out the source of the commotion. Standing on the side of the bridge, about midway across the thoroughfare, a woman was threatening to jump. With each step the uniformed police officers took toward her, she stepped farther out on a protruding beam of the bridge. If she jumped, she would most certainly die.
“As a pastor, former police officer and volunteer police chaplain, I’ve seen situations like this before. I asked my wife to take the vehicle and the kids, and I approached the officers, identified myself and offered to help. I walked out to where the woman stood and began talking with her and listening to her story. She told me her struggle with drug addiction. Of a husband who had deserted her and of a son in the military who was wrestling with a host of issues.
“After about 45 minutes, she sat down on the curb with me, and we prayed before I went with her to the hospital for evaluation. While not all our vacations are as eventful as that particular trip, the situation that day on the bridge wasn’t an anomaly. Sudden, unexpected events that occur around us in life demand that we act rather than hoping someone else will. And like that woman on the bridge that day, our United States of America is dangerously close to the edge and desperate for intervention.”
The removal of God from the fabric of American society has resulted in much more damage than the eye can comprehend. An October 2019 report by the Brookings Institution noted how “deaths of despair” were affecting many sectors of society, particularly in America’s heartland.
Carol Graham, a Brookings senior fellow, made this eye-opening observation, “The metric that really stands out is not sort of happy, [or] unhappy. Happy today doesn’t matter a whole lot. It’s hope for the future or lack thereof that’s really linked with premature mortality.”
Although we find ourselves surrounded by depression and hopelessness, there is good news: God has blessed us with the Bible which is unchanging and eternal. The Bible gives us the hope that is so sorely lacking in our culture. The psalmist’s enthusiasm for Scripture provides an excellent model for us,
“With my whole heart I seek You; let me not wander from Your commandments! I have stored up Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You. Blessed are You, O Lord. Teach me Your statutes! With my lips I declare all the rules of Your mouth. In the way of Your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches. I will meditate on Your precepts and fix my eyes on Your ways. I will delight in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.” – Psalm 119:10-13
A worldview shaped by the tenets of the Bible can be referred to as a “biblical worldview.” Recent surveys show that the percentage of Americans who possess a biblical worldview is in a state of decline. According to George Barna, a senior fellow at FRC’s Center for Biblical Worldview, as few as 6% of Americans held a biblical worldview in 2020 — half the number it was just 25 years prior.
With these declining numbers, it is no wonder that people today are lacking in hope.
The Bible Helps Dispel Hopelessness and Builds Character
All Christians and parents in particular need to recommit themselves to having and teaching a worldview grounded in the Bible. The stakes are high — present and future generations need to know that the Bible provides thorough, cohesive, and satisfying answers to life’s biggest questions and challenges. With a biblical worldview, we don’t have to resign ourselves to the hopelessness of this present age.
Like the desperate woman on the bridge that day struggling with a reason to live, millions of men, women, children, families, and communities need to be introduced to the God of heaven, hope, and healing. This is why the ministry of Stand Courageous is so vitally important. This arm of FRC seeks to help men develop a strong biblical character, cultivate positive habits, build and rebuild relationships, and make commitments that will move men closer to God’s good purpose and design — men who will Stand Courageous! We call on men to awaken to the truth that God’s Word has given them a directive to provide leadership in their homes, churches, and communities.
We are bringing that call to the men of Houston by hosting a Stand Courageous Men’s Conference at Houston’s First Baptist Church on June 3, 2023. This will be a day of hope, awakening, and healing for men seeking to be all that God has created them to be.
We encourage you to make plans to join Chief Kelvin Cochran and FRC President Tony Perkins for this Stand Courageous Men’s Conference on June 3, 2023 at Houston’s First Baptist Church (The Loop / First Campus), 7401 Katy Freeway, Houston, Texas 77024.
For more information about Stand Courageous and to register for this powerful conference, please visit StandCourageous.com
Tony Perkins, “A Nation on the Precipice of Destruction,” Decision Magazine, September 1, 2020. URL: decisionmagazine.com/tony-perkins-a-nation-on-the-precipice-of-destruction/
Carol Graham and Sergio Pinto, “The geography of desperation in America: Labor force participation, mobility trends, place, and well-being,” Brookings Institution, October 15, 2019. URL: www.brookings.edu/research/the-geography-of-desperation-in-america-labor-force-participation-mobility-trends-place-and-well-being/
Sibile Marcellus, “Certain American men are dying ‘deaths of despair,’” Yahoo Finance, October 22, 2019. URL: www.yahoo.com/video/deaths-of-despair-why-this-group-of-americans-has-higher-mortality-rates-130633528.html