School Ministries to host special dinner 3/23/23

March 9, 2023

Keynote speaker Kelvin Cochran, former Atlanta Fire Chief and U.S. Fire Administrator

School Ministries is hosting a special dinner with keynote speaker Kelvin Cochrane, the former Atlanta Fire Chief who was fired for his religious beliefs in 2015. Dawndy Mercer-Plank, local WIS-TV news anchor, will emcee the event.

The dinner will be held at First Presbyterian Church in Jackson Hall on Thursday, March 23rd. The reception will begin at 6:00 p.m. and dinner will begin at 6:30 pm. The event is free to attend for anyone wanting to learn more about School Ministries and Released Time Bible Education. Opportunities for giving will be presented.

School Ministries helps local Christians and churches start Released Time Bible Education programs across South Carolina and the nation. Released Time is the legal way for K-12 public school students to study the Bible as an academic class during the school day.

Executive Director, Ken Breivik, says of the event, “We are excited to hold our first event in Columbia in five years. God has grown our ministry to serve over tens of thousands of students per year with Bible classes where they can study and apply God’s Word to their lives. Many people do not know about Released Time as a means to provide religious education for public school students. We want to raise awareness and invite people to join us in providing these classes all over South Carolina and across the nation.”

All people are invited to find out more about the dinner and register to attend by simply going to or call 803-772-5224.



School Ministries exists to assist local communities in the creation, support, and growth of Christian Released Time Bible Education programs. School Ministries partners with communities across South Carolina and the nation bringing eternal hope and purpose to the lives of public school students and their families through the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Additionally, the organization promotes Released Time research and national visibility, while creating materials and training for local programs. Formed in 1991 with four South Carolina programs, School Ministries has grown to 13 programs in South Carolina and 65 programs nationally in 14 states. The organization has a strategic goal to grow to 250 programs by the year 2030.

Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Vice-President for Human Resources and Faith Initiatives

Mr. Cochran dedicated over 30 years of his life to fighting fires and protecting the communities in which he lived and worked. His exemplary service record drew the attention of President Obama who appointed him as the administrator of the U.S. Fire Administration in 2008, the highest office in the profession. After resuming his post in Atlanta, he was fired for his religious views. His 2019 book, “Facing the Fire,” chronicles his life, the faith that formed his character, the importance of the Bible, the religious discrimination he faced, and the favorable outcome of the resulting court case.

WIS-TV News Anchor

Having dreamed of being in television news since the 6th grade, Dawndy realized her dreams in the early 1990’s. She is active in serving non-profit ministries and is a member of Shandon Baptist Church. Dawndy leads a Bible study for young women at the University of South Carolina. A marathoner and triathlete, she is passionate about helping others lead healthy lives and gains additional exercise riding horses.