Newest BPC Dorm Dedicated to Barbara Conner

September 20, 2022
The family of Barbara Thompson Conner came together to the dedication of a dorm in honor of her love and dedication to Brewton-Parker College.

MOUNT VERNON – On Saturday, August 13th, 2022, Brewton-Parker College (BPC) honored the late Barbara Thompson Conner by dedicating a dorm in honor of her love and dedication to the college. In attendance were members of her family, members of the community, and various BPC faculty and staff. 

Brewton-Parker College President Dr. Steven Echols shared his thoughts during the dedication ceremony, “I am reminded of Proverbs 6:7, ‘the memory of the righteous will be a blessing.’” He went on to say, “I think that is such an appropriate passage today as we honor the memory of Barbara Thompson Conner. I have been hearing stories of so many dimensions of her time here. It is really remarkable how much she has equally impacted Montgomery and Toombs counties.”

Barbara Thompson Conner was born on March 17, 1956, in Ailey, Georgia, and received her diploma from Montgomery High School. She attended Brewton-Parker College and graduated with her associate degree in 1976. As a BPC student, she was an active member of the student government association and sang in the choir. She continued her education at Georgia College where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Home Economics. After graduation, she lived in Athens, GA for several years before moving back to Mount Vernon to teach Family and Consumer Sciences in the Montgomery County school system. During this time, she reconnected with John Conner, a classmate from BPC, whom she married in 1994.

John Conner also had a chance to speak at the occasion by stating, “This is such a tribute to my wife. Barbara would be so proud, thrilled, and humbled.” Mr. Conner also shared, “a year ago at Barbara’s funeral, I overheard someone talking about a description of Barbara, and they said she was ‘precious.’ That word describes her better than anything I could think of, and in her life, she lived an example of a Godly life.” Mr. Conner also shared memories of meeting Barbara on campus and how they eventually reconnected years later and married.

Mount Vernon Mayor Joey Fountain expressed gratitude toward the growth and persistence of BPC. “Brewton-Parker College was founded on Christian principles and values; because of that foundation that we laid so many years ago, this school has endured numerous difficult times. We are fortunate to have Brewton-Parker here, and we could not ask for a better school.”

BPC Trustee and long-time supporter of the college, Mr. Kenneth Dowling, knew there was a need for additional housing on campus and wanted the name to represent what it means to be a BPC alumni. He donated the funds needed in memory of his first cousin, Barbara Conner. Mr. Dowling knew that Barbara loved the Lord and put the Lord first in all things she did. The five-thousand-square foot dormitory has a shared bedroom for two female students and a connected bathroom. The space also has a grass-covered breezeway. Additions have also been made to a common area that has a space for laundry and for social activities. The dorm officially opened during the first week of school, August 15, 2022.

Newest BPC Dorm Dedicated to Barbara Conner - 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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