Servant Leadership in the Life of Jeremy Morton

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By Lauren Moye, Staff Writer

There are five items that Brewton-Parker College teaches to its students as core values. While Jeremy Morton, a 2004 alum and a current trustee of Brewton-Parker College, demonstrates all of these core values, he most clearly reflects servant leadership in his life. From acting as a church planter while still a student to his new ministry, servant leadership is an easy attribute for Morton.

Dr. Jerry Ray, a former professor and now friend of Morton, shared, “One of the first things I noticed about Jeremy during his student days was that he took seriously the teaching and example of Jesus, ‘I came not to be served but to serve.’ It’s readily apparent that Jeremy still models this all important servant-leadership principle in his pastoral and preaching ministry.”

Morton was active in ministry as a Brewton-Parker College student. In 2001, he worked alongside others on a church plant in Perry, GA. The church plant that became known as Cross Point Baptist Church began meeting every Sunday in Spring of 2002. From humble beginnings in the former Tharpe Memorial Baptist Church building, Cross Point Baptist Church grew under the servant-leadership of Morton. Morton shared about this time, “I was young, inexperienced, a full-time student at Brewton-Parker College, and commuting nearly 90 miles one way multiple times a week. Yet everything happened in God’s timing because God was totally faithful.”

Through classes and planning a wedding, Morton remained faithful to God’s guidance in his life. During 2004, Morton graduated on May 8, married his wife on May 22, and, in September, guided Cross Point Baptist Church into a temporary industrial building while they waited for their 38,000 square foot building to complete construction. Morton commented, “It’s stressful to think of all those things happening at once. So how did it all turn out so well? The only explanation is that God was faithful and gracious to us!”

Morton would continue in his role as founding pastor of Cross Point Baptist Church even while pursuing a Masters through the satellite program of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

While servant-leadership marked Morton’s days as a student, he still had much to learn. Morton shared, “Brewton-Parker College taught me to think and study. It further affirmed many of the things my pastor and family taught me as a child.”

He added, “I have the fondest memories of my professors and friends [at Brewton-Parker College]. I had a great experience at Brewton-Parker College. To this day, Dr. Jerry Ray is one of my dearest friends. I was his student 20 years ago, but now I consider him a friend and mentor.”

In July of 2013, Morton resigned from his position at Cross Point Baptist College in order to follow God’s leading in his life. Two weeks later, as further testament to their growth under Morton’s leadership, Cross Point Baptist College dedicated a 16,000 square foot expansion for preschool and youth ministry.

Morton is now Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Cartersville, GA, where, in keeping with his servant-leadership attitude, he describes himself as the “primary disciple maker.”

Jeremy Morton recently revisited Brewton-Parker College as the main speaker for the 2017 Revival. While on campus, he remarked, “I’m grateful to God for Brewton-Parker College and for the investment it has made in my life. This is a special place, and I’m reminded of how God touched me when I was here. My prayer going forward will be that other students will have the same experience, that they’ll know that God will meet them here and bless them if they allow it.”

Joanna Phillips-Mock

Student Enrichment Director

Joanna Phillips-Mock is a proud third generation Baron, both as a student and a staff member.

Beginning her teaching career in Middle Georgia in 1995, Mrs. Mock worked with a state funded program that served some of the most disadvantaged special needs students within the local school districts. She ultimately moved into leadership positions within the organization, serving and training others in multiple initiatives. She enjoys working with students of all ages to recognize and to achieve their greatest potential.

Mrs. Mock holds a Bachelor’s degree from Brewton-Parker College, a Master's degree in Education with a concentration in Behavior Disorders, and an Education Specialist degree in Educational Administration from Georgia College and State University. She resides in Ailey, Georgia, with her husband Don, their son Tye Lewis, her mother Carol Joyce, and multiple fur babies. She enjoys traveling, gardening, camping, and attending concerts.

Candace Lilford

Profeessional Tutor

Candace Lilford graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Theatre Generalism in 2021 from Anderson University and with her master’s degree in English Literature in 2023 from the University of Alabama. She presently serves as Professional Tutor for the Student Enrichment Center while also teaching sections of ENG 101 and 102. 

As part of her two-year master's program, Ms. Lilford taught sections of ENG 101 and 102, while also serving as teaching assistant for British Literature Survey courses and volunteering in the university’s Writing Center. Ms Lilford has also presented papers at the Hudson Strode Conference and the South Eastern Christian and Literature Conference as well as working on various theatrical productions.

Born in North Carolina of South African descent, Ms. Lilford has lived in Uganda, Botswana, South Africa, and Trinidad before settling in Mount Vernon with her family in 2016, where she attended Brewton-Parker College as a dual enrollment student. She presently resides in Mount Vernon with her family and spends her free time watching old TV shows.

Linda Armstrong

Academic Advising and Career Specialist

Linda Armstrong earned an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice Technology from Southeastern Technical College and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Walden University. Throughout her career, Linda has worked with diverse populations, including at-risk youth and families and youth in crisis because of mental health and other issues. Her empathetic nature has made her an effective advocate for those in need. In addition to her professional work, Linda is also is committed to volunteerism. She has dedicated countless hours as a youth mentor, and to teaching about her faith at various Christian organizations. She believes in the power of positivity and its ability to transform not only her life but also the lives of others.

"If you must look back, do so forgivingly. If you will look forward, do so prayerfully. But the wisest course would be to be present in the present gratefully." ~ Maya Angelou

Willie Ford

Academic Advising and Career Specialist

Greetings, Baron Nation!

It's truly a joy to be back in a place that has shaped me so profoundly. I'm Willie Ford, a proud 2022 graduate of historic Brewton-Parker College, holding a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a Minor in Education. Following my graduation, I embarked on a journey in education, teaching Special Education within the Vidalia City School District. In addition to my role as an educator, I had the privilege of serving as the Unit Director at the J.D. Rabun Boys and Girls Club. All the while, I was honored to pastor at the esteemed New Hope Baptist Church of Rhine, Georgia. With God's grace, I managed these responsibilities, and now, I'm thrilled and ready to contribute to the welfare of our students, aiming to inspire through service.

Dusty Arnold

Mental Health Counselor

Dusty Arnold  is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst as well as a BPC alumnus. He has years of experience working with a variety of mental health issues including anxiety, grief, and challenges related to Autism. He specializes in behavior-related interventions that can help college students build on their strengths to set achievable goals while also learning how to deal with the thoughts and feelings that sometimes get in the way. He incorporates Biblical values and evidence-based treatments to meet students wherever they happen to be on their journey to spiritual and psychological health. 

Carl Anthony "Tony" Wardlaw

Assistant Student Enrichment Director & Student Success Coach

Carl Anthony “Tony” Wardlaw – For over 25 years, Dr. Wardlaw has worked in leadership, counseling, and pastoring. Beginning with working in middle management for a manufacturing company in Douglas, GA, Dr. Wardlaw has also worked in the academic, nonprofit, public, and private sectors. Additionally, he served over 7 years in the United States Military as a Military Intelligence Officer before resigning his commission as a Captain in the Army.

Currently serving as the Assistant Director of the Student Enrichment Center, Student Success Coach, and Adjunct Faculty at Brewton-Parker College in Mount Vernon, GA, he also serves as the Pastor of The Green Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Dublin, GA.

As a member of the renowned International Gospel Singing Group, The Wardlaw Brothers, Dr. Wardlaw has traveled all over the nation and abroad ministering and singing the Gospel of Christ Jesus. Dr. Wardlaw has served as a consultant for various agencies and has worked as a Fatherhood Coordinator and G.E.D. instructor within the Technical College System of Georgia and participates in local and national civic and philanthropic work.

Dr. Wardlaw holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in International Business from the University of Georgia, two master's degrees from Troy University (Master of Science in Clinical Counseling and Psychology and Master of Education in Counseling), and a Doctorate in Education from Argosy University in Organizational Leadership. Dr. Wardlaw is a Lifetime Silver Member of The NAACP and a member of The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. He is happily married to the former Mrs. Stephanie Scott. They have 3 Children; Chambria, Marc, and Carleigh.

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