Brewton-Parker College Celebrates Diversity during the Second Annual Warren C. Crawley, Sr. Gala

August 3, 2021

Nearly 300 guests gathered at First Baptist Church of Lyons on Tuesday, February 5, 2019, for Brewton-Parker’s second annual Warren C. Crawley, Sr. Gala. Celebrating African-American History Month and the diversity of our community and the church, the evening honored the legacy of Warren C. Crawley by providing funding for scholarships for students in need.

A Heritage of Reconciliation

Warren C. Crawley was an ex-slave and a vital figure in the history of the college. In 1904, Crawley encountered several local churches that dreamed of establishing a Christian school in the community. At the time, these churches did not have sufficient acreage to establish the school, so Crawley, in a Christ-like act of reconciliation in a segregated time, donated five acres of his own land. These five acres comprised one-third of the original tract and enabled the foundation for Union Baptist Institute’s inaugural campus. This campus would later become Brewton-Parker College. Crawley made this astounding contribution knowing that the strict segregation of the pre-civil-rights South would prohibit his own grandchildren from enrolling.

Over a century later, BPC’s campus now flourishes with a diverse student body that consists of 45 percent minorities, an unimaginable diversity during Crawley’s lifetime. In recognition of his humanitarian deed and in honor of his heritage, BPC initiated the annual gala in 2017 to raise funds for the construction of a new male dormitory. Due to the outstanding support of the local community and foundations, BPC was able to raise sufficient funds to begin construction on the Warren C. Crawley Commons, which currently has a projected completion by May 2019.

Construction underway for the final installment in the Warren C. Crawley Commons, Baron Ridge Building D [Photo Credit: Morgan Page, BPC Student Photographer]

United for the Next Generation

With the completion of the initial capital campaign, the planning committee for the gala set out with a new theme and mission for the 2019 Gala: “United for the Next Generation.”

“We believe this theme reflects the pathway that the current generation is taking,” stated Dr. Beverly Robinson, a member of the planning committee and Associate Provost at BPC. “By uniting for the next generation, we are setting an example for the students and community while highlighting the importance of diversity.”

Aligning with the message of unity, the event raised funds for the Warren C. Crawley Scholarship, a scholarship designed to help students who, after completing the financial aid process and exhausting all other options, find themselves in need of additional support. Each semester, BPC provides a quality, Christian education to a variety of underserved students from low socio-economic backgrounds.  Through the Warren C. Crawley Scholarship, BPC hopes to alleviate the stress of these financial needs and enable students to reach beyond their current circumstances and continue their studies at BPC.

During his address, BPC President Steve Echols explained that some students are just a flat tire away from having to drop out of college. He thanked the attendees for their many kind acts of charitable support in the community but highlighted how a seemingly small gift to this fund could make a drastic difference in the lives of students.

Honor for the Past and a Challenge for the Future

In addition to raising funds for this new scholarship, the event also celebrated diversity by honoring influential personages in the Southeast Georgia region for the contributions they have made in their communities. The 2019 Honorees included Herbert “Hub” Dudley of Laurens County (posthumous), Jimmy Jackson of Laurens County, Sherrie and Waldo Moody of Bibb County, Andrea Hinojosa of Toombs County, Reverend H.W. Miller of Toombs County, Councilman Greg Johnson of Toombs County, Dr. Michael Williams of Toombs County, and Patricia Dixon of Montgomery/Toombs County.

Left to Right: Dr. Beverly Robinson, BPC Associate Provost; Councilman Gregory Johnson; Major Regina Williams, wife of Dr. Michael Williams; Sherrie Moody; Patricia Dixon; Reverend H.W. Miller; Jimmy Jackson; Carl Pearson, grandson of Herbert “Hub” Dudley; Andrea Hinojosa; Dr. Steve Echols, BPC President [Photo Credit: Morgan Page, BPC Student Photographer]

During the program, Dr. Robinson shared each honoree’s background and expounded on the work they have achieved in their communities. Each guest of honor was also presented with tokens of gratitude, including a commemorative placard highlighting each honoree. The event also featured a performance from BPC’s Unity Choir and a personal testimony from current BPC student, Jada Ivy.

BPC was honored to welcome Pastor Fred J. Luter, Jr., as the special guest speaker for the evening. Pastor Luter has the distinction of being the first African-American president of the largest protestant denomination in the U.S., the Southern Baptist Convention. In line with the night’s theme, he challenged those in attendance with an inspirational message of unity, direction, and purpose–unity for the goal of getting the work done, direction for the goal of knowing what needs to be done, and purpose for the realization of the work’s importance.

The work to which Pastor Luter referred is the work of the ministry. This work never ends, which is why Pastor Luter called for more laborers–more workers–in the mission field. As a way to participate immediately in this great work, he challenged those in attendance to contribute to the Warren C. Crawley, Sr. Scholarship. By doing so, he explained, donors would help transform the lives of students financially, academically, and–most importantly–spiritually. The more students that walk the halls of BPC means the more students that have the opportunity to learn about Jesus Christ.

A Night to Remember

“It was an uplifting event that proves if we look toward the future as people united in purpose, we can make a difference,” stated Linda Page, one of many attendees that night. “That difference has to begin in our own hearts, from which a love for all in our communities will begin to take shape as we work together and move out to the far reaches of our world. As our pastor said not long ago, the great divide is no longer race or ethnicity. It is education. Local colleges such as BPC help provide the opportunity to those who could not go otherwise due to background, lack of familial support, or simply personal responsibilities to home and family. I will carry the speaker’s message in my heart and mull it over every day in my mind so that I might strive to make a difference, just as BPC made that difference for me.”

The event was truly a remarkable night–one that all who attended will remember. Pastor Luter filled the night with joy, laughter, fellowship, and the desire to grow closer in our walks with God. It was an amazing sight to see the community united for the next generation.

Plans are already being made for the 2020 Warren C. Crawley, Sr. Gala. Faculty, staff, and students are excited to see how God will continue to speak through the life and legacy of this great man.

Photos by Morgan Page
Construction underway for the final installment in the Warren C. Crawley Commons, Baron Ridge Building D
Left to Right: Dr. Beverly Robinson, BPC Associate Provost; Councilman Gregory Johnson; Major Regina Williams, wife of Dr. Michael Williams; Sherrie Moody; Patricia Dixon; Reverend H.W. Miller; Jimmy Jackson; Carl Pearson, grandson of Herbert “Hub” Dudley; Andrea Hinojosa; Dr. Steve Echols, BPC President
Special performance from BPC’s Unity Choir
Current BPC Student, Jada Ivy, sharing her testimony
Pastor Fred Luter challenging those in attendance with an inspirational message
Brewton-Parker College Celebrates Diversity during the Second Annual Warren C. Crawley, Sr. Gala - Brewton-Parker College


The purpose of the nursing program is to prepare graduates who have the knowledge and skills to provide patient-centered holistic care that is safe, compassionate, honoring to Christ, and that meets the healthcare needs of diverse populations.

Mission Statement

In concert with Brewton-Parker College’s mission, the School of Nursing is committed to provide nursing education through the application of biblical truth to promote the formation of graduates who engage in evidence-based practice, lifelong learning, and servant leadership through the development of clinical reasoning, professional nursing skills, and Christian values.

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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