Brewton-Parker College Breaks Ground for a Strong Foundation

August 19, 2021
Pictured left to right: Carol Williams, Britt McDade, Dr. Steve Echols, Joe Filipone, Gary Braddy, Brandon Braddy, Emily Williams, Brooke Stille, BL Horne, Terry Thompson, Debbie Evans, Jake Cleghorn, Steven Rigdon, and Todd Muraski

By Jerusha Yoder

Director of Marketing

MOUNT VERNON — On Wednesday, May 15, Brewton-Parker College officially broke ground on construction for the new addition to Phillips Student Center. Originally constructed in 1967, the building currently features the student activities center, campus post office, and Baron Fan Store, as well as two dining facilities. This new addition will expand on those dining facilities, nearly doubling the seating capacity from 115 to 215.

The new addition will also feature renovations to Lakeside Grill. These renovations will include redesigned interior, as well a new 1,800 square foot patio that will overlook the college’s beautiful 5-acre lake as it extends the roof of the new addition.

“We’ve been listening to our students as they explain areas that could be improved, and they need more gathering space,” explained President Steve Echols during the ground breaking ceremony. “As enrollment continues to grow, the need for space will become even greater. Through this new addition, we will meet this need by providing a new student lounge with food services.”

The new patio will provide students with a new location for gathering and will be a great attraction for the local community. Furthermore, the overall addition will fulfill another growing need as BPC hosts more and more camps during the summer months. This summer alone, the college expects to welcome over 2,000 campers. These camps include a science day camp hosted by the Division of Math and Science, SURGE hosted by the Daniell Baptist Association, and CentriKid Camps hosted by LifeWay.

Lauren Shaw, the college’s Director of Student Activities and Summer Camps stated, “I am so grateful that Chartwells has partnered with the college to make this Cafeteria addition happen. We will be able to fit more campers during meal times in the Cafeteria space. Last summer we had the campers divided up into 3 shifts of 20 minutes each. Even after dividing up the meal hours into 3 shifts, we still had to sit campers upstairs in the overflow area. It is exciting that next year the Cafeteria will be able to accommodate all the campers comfortably downstairs in less shifts.”

During the groundbreaking ceremony, Dr. Echols thanked Emily Williams, district manager for Chartwells Higher Education Dining Services and welcomed her to share a few words regarding the project. With excitement, she explained that the vision for the new addition began with the recognition of BPC as a pinnacle of the community and it’s need for additional entertainment space.

She went on to state, “I’m lucky enough to have this partnership with all of you, with BPC, and with Dr. Echols to bring this vision into reality. I’m thrilled we have such a great team working together.”

The ceremony ended as Dr. Echols explained the importance of setting the right foundation for the college, a foundation stronger than steel and concrete. As South Georgia’s Christian College, BPC strives to place its transformative mission at the heart of all it does. As Dr. Echols explained, “Unless the Lord builds the house, we labor in vain” (Psalm 127:1).

“Everything we do at BPC is built on seeing the lives of our students transformed academically and spiritually for the glory of God,” Dr. Echols stated. “As we take this special time for the ground breaking, we also want to take a moment to dedicate the construction to this mission and ask God for his continued blessing. Without His guidance, BPC would not be where it is today.”

As the college grows, it will continue to keep this mission at its heart. With additional construction on the new Baron Ridge dorm and renovations to academic and administrative buildings already underway, the administration looks forward to welcoming new and returning students this fall.

Brewton-Parker College Breaks Ground for a Strong Foundation - 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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