Dedication of Nursing Skills Lab

From left to right: Nathan Russell (Associate Development Officer - Georgia Baptist Foundation), Dr. Johnathan W. Gray (President/CEO - Georgia Baptist Foundation), Dr. Steven Echols (BPC President), and Debbi Bryarly (BPC Director of Nursing) stand in front of the Letton Nursing Skills Lab at Brewton-Parker College.

MOUNT VERNON — On Thursday, September 23, 2021, Brewton-Parker College (BPC) dedicated the Letton Nursing Skills Lab in memory of Dr. Alva Hamblin “Hamby” Letton. The funds were received through a grant awarded to BPC by the Georgia Baptist Foundation. Dr. Letton was a distinguished surgical oncologist that wanted to make a lasting impact on Christian healthcare in Georgia. 

Dr. Letton left a true legacy with his involvement in the medical world. Dr. Letton was a Navy veteran and served during World War II. In the late 1940s, he was active with the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) Georgia Division. Dr. Letton served as president of the American Cancer Society in 1971. Dr. Letton’s work pioneered early detection of cancer. He has been described as an advocate for data and research (related to cancer). He understood that it would have no impact if that knowledge is not translated into treatment, practiced, and disseminated in a manner that allows medical professionals and patients to make sound decisions. Dr. Letton was 93 when he passed away in 2010. 

Dedication speakers included Dr. Steven Echols, BPC President, Debbi Bryarly, BPC Director of Nursing, and Dr. Johnathan W. Gray, Georgia Baptist Foundation President.

BPC Director of Nursing Debbi Bryarly stated, “The Letton Nursing Skills Lab is an integral part of nursing education at Brewton-Parker College.” The lab will be a safe environment for students to learn and practice basic skills such as making beds and giving a bath and then progressing to skills such as starting IVs and giving medications. Students will also learn tasks such as proper hand hygiene and how to perform a health assessment. This will include tasks such as taking blood pressure and listening to heart and lung sounds. The students will learn these skills under the supervision and direction of a qualified nursing faculty member who will teach them proper techniques and procedures. Bryarly goes on to say, “Students will have ample time in the lab to practice before demonstrating their skills to the faculty before going to the hospital for their clinical rotations.”

BPC President Dr. Steven F. Echols commented, “We are very grateful for the wonderful legacy of Dr. Letton, and for his foresight and generosity in establishing this fund which has been of great help in providing for Christian based nursing education at the three Georgia Baptist Institutions of Higher Education. The impact of this support will never be fully known this side of eternity. Nursing education is a perfect expression of our mission to see the lives of our students transformed so that they may become ambassadors for Christ in the field of medical care.” 

Based on a feasibility study done last year, the need for nurses is critical. As demand continues unabated, educators and healthcare providers are working together to supply the workforce. Areas with higher proportions of low-income and minority residents suffer most from a smaller pool of qualified physicians and other healthcare professionals. Addressing this need undergirds the college’s mission to provide a transformational experience not only to its students but also to the region it calls home.

The Georgia Board of Nursing has recently approved the start of the nursing program at BPC for the fall of 2022. The goal is to have training for nurses who will go forth as ambassadors for Christ in their field. The effort to establish a nursing program at BPC first began with a vision and formal proposal from Dr. Helene Peters, professor of biology and chair of the math and science division. Dr. Peters saw the great need for a Christian college nursing program that would help meet the shortage of nurses in South Georgia. As a result of the board action, Brewton-Parker College is now the only approved Christian college south of Macon that will offer a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

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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