Brewton-Parker College honors Warren C. Crawley, Sr.

August 20, 2021
DESCENDANTS GATHER—Members of the Crawley family came together from across the Southeast to attend the dedication of the Warren C. Crawley, Sr. Commons at Brewton-Parker College on August 25. Shown above, left of marker, back row, left to right, are: Cedric Watson, James Watson, Sr., Ciara Watson, and James NeSmith; front row, left to right: Trudeah Glover, Kenya Lee, Elizabeth Crawley NeSmith and Tia Crawley Kitt. To the right of the marker is, from left, Mattie Watson, Michael Crawley, Gloria Jackson, Sammie Jackson and Kimblin NeSmith.


MOUNT VERNON – On Tuesday, August 25, Brewton-Parker College hosted a dedication ceremony for the Warren C. Crawley, Sr. Commons. This ceremony was the culmination of a multi-year building and renovation campaign that raised over $1.1 million. The project included two new dorms with common area and laundry space, renovation of two existing dorms, and paving of new and existing parking.  The new dorms have provided much needed space as the Mount Vernon campus enrollment has increased by 48 percent since the fall of 2015.

In 1904, Mr. Warren C. Crawley Sr. encountered several local churches that dreamed of establishing a Christian school in Montgomery County. At the time, these churches did not have sufficient acreage to establish the school. During this time of segregation, Mr. Crawley donated five acres of land even though he knew his grandchildren would not be able to attend the new school. His gift displayed a Christ-like act of love and the hope of unity and forgiveness.

To honor Mr. Crawley and his legacy of hope, Brewton-Parker College dedicated an area of campus which will now be known as Warren C. Crawley, Sr. Commons

Due to the pandemic, the guest list was limited. The dedication service was opened by the Pledge of Allegiance followed by the Wardlaw Brothers singing the National Anthem. Pastor Dannie Williams of First Baptist Church of Lyons then brought the invocation.

Brewton-Parker College senior, Willie Ford, represented the student body at the service. “We’re not only here to live the life God has graced us with, but we are here to make a difference,” stated Ford. He continued by speaking to the seed of love that Crawley planted and how we are able to reap the harvest from it. Ford also noted how BPC has a very diverse student body that is centered on love and unity.

The great-granddaughter of Mr. Crawley, Mrs. Mattie Watson, expressed her deepest appreciation to President Dr. Steven F. Echols and Brewton-Parker College for bringing the vision to fruition. While growing up, Mrs. Watson heard the story of her great-grandfather donating land to BPC, but she never understood the importance of his generous act. Mrs. Watson stated how proud she is to have seen the growth of the school because of her great-grandfather’s donation many years ago.

Dr. Echols compared the story of Warren C. Crawley to that of Joseph in the Bible. Both were sold into slavery, but both showed the real meaning of love, unity, and forgiveness. In today’s time there are so many things that can divide us, but unity is found in Christ. Dr. Echols spoke to this and referenced Ephesians 2:14. “God used this man and his forgiving spirit to bring people together,” stated Echols. “As Christians, we are looking for that better day and Mr. Crawley lived that out. He knew that a better day was coming and that was the foundation of donating those 5 acres 116 years ago.”

Hope was a central theme in Dr. Echols’ message: “Hope is not a might be, hope is a certainty in Christ and hope is what we use when looking toward that better day.” Dr. Echols closed by reiterating that love overcomes hate and in Christ we are unified.

The sign identifying the Warren C. Crawley Commons was unveiled by Dr. Steven F. Echols, Mr. Sammie Jackson and Mrs. Elizabeth Crawley NeSmith, both great-grandchildren of Mr. Crawley. Benediction was given by Pastor Carl Wardlaw Sr. of First African Missionary Baptist Church of Vidalia.

Brewton-Parker College is privileged to have the legacy of Mr. Warren C. Crawley, Sr. in the founding of the school. The goal of BPC is to train up and raise up a new generation to follow in his example in displaying the love of Christ to a world in need of reconciliation.

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Brewton-Parker College honors Warren C. Crawley, Sr. - 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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