Meet Our Faculty

Office Location

President’s Office
Gates Hall

(912) 583-3202

Dr. Steven F. Echols

President of Brewton-Parker College

Professor of Leadership

Division of Christian Studies and Humanities


  • PhD, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
  • DMin, Samford University
  • MA, Birmingham-Southern College
  • MDiv, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
  • BA, Mercer University


Dr. Echols became president of Brewton-Parker College in May of 2015. Before accepting his position, he served as president of Tennessee Temple University (TTU) in Chattanooga, TN. Prior to coming to TTU, he was a faculty member and dean at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. While at NOBTS, Echols occupied the Nelson L. Price Chair of Leadership. He is married to the former Julie Marie Stipe, and they have two grown children, Jeremy and Joy, and two grandchildren, Emma and Levi.

Dr. Echols has served as a pastor and interim pastor for over 42 years. He has been the senior pastor at churches ranging from small student pastorates to as large as 3,300 members. He has also served as an interim pastor on ten occasions. Dr. Echols has published a number of articles, book chapters, and the book Catastrophic Crisis: Ministry Leadership in the Midst of Trial and Tragedy, which he co-authored with Allen England. He has been a frequent speaker on the subject of leadership at state and national level conferences as well as at local churches and associations.

Interesting Facts About Me

  • I have enjoyed weight training since I was 12 years old.
  • My wife and I love camping and hiking.

Research Interests

  • The synergy and biblical basis for a theory
  • Transformation
  • Servant leadership

Professional Organizations/Memberships

  • Association of Directors of Professional Doctoral Education
  • Academy of Religious Leadership
  • Evangelical Theological Society

Favorite Classes Taught at BPC

  • Courses in Leadership and Pastoral Ministry 

Favorite Bible Verse


“The Triumphant Entry” in The Holman Bible Dictionary Nashville: Broadman/Holman, 2004.

“Relationship with the Church Family: Emotional Intelligence and Spiritual Maturity” in Interpersonal Relationship Skills for Ministers. New Orleans: Pelican Press, 2004.

“Building a Culture for Managing Church Conflict” in Interpersonal Relationship Skills for Ministers, Jeanine Bozeman and Argile Smith, eds. New Orleans: Pelican Press, 2004.

“Does Your Church Need a Staff Evaluation?” in Church Administration: A Journal for Effectiveness in Ministry, November 1991.

“The Role of the Business Meeting in a Healthy Change Process” in The Journal of Baptist Theology and Ministry, Spring 2004.

“Leadership Studies at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary” in The Journal of Religious Leadership, Spring Fall 2005.

“The Opportunity for Developing Ministry Teams in Bivocational Ministry” in Pastors Today @ newsletter, Nov. 13, 2007.

“Transformational/Servant Leadership: A Potential Synergism for an Inclusive Leadership Style.” in The Journal of Religious Leadership, Fall 2009 (Utilized as a required text by the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University, Spring Semester 2011.)

Catastrophic Crisis: Ministry Leadership in the Midst of Trial and Tragedy by Steve Echols and Allen England, Broadman/Holman, 2011.

“Team Building: The Importance of a Biblical Basis” in the Unlimited Partnership Leadership Manual, 2011.

“Facilitating Change through the Biblical Model of Transformational Servant Leadership” in the Unlimited Partnership Leadership Manual, 2011.

“Spiritual Leadership in Times of Crisis” in Pastors Today @ newsletter, August 25, 2011.

“The Travon Martin Tragedy: The Leaders Restraint in a Twitter World,” in The Christian Post, 4-10-12

“When It Is Time to Leave” in The Christian Post, 9-21-12

“Tough-Minded Optimism” in The Christian Post 6-3-13


Book Review of The Leader’s Journey by Jim Herrington, R. Robert Creech, and Trisha Taylor for The Journal of Religious Leadership Fall 2003 and for the Baptist Journal of Theology and Ministry, Spring 2004.

Book Review of Leadership that Matters by Marshall Sashkin and Molly Sashkin in The Journal of Religious Leadership, Spring 2004.

Review of Risking Church by Jim Kallam, Jr., Pastors Today @, 2004.

Review of Shepherd Leadership: Wisdom for Leaders from Psalm 23 in Pastors Today @, 2004.

Review of The Kingdom Focused Leader by Michael Miller in Pastors Today @, 2004.

Review of Future Church: Ministry in a Post-Seeker Age by Jim L. Wilson in Pastors Today @ newsletter, 2004.

“Review and Comparison of The Three Editions of the Leadership Handbook: A Survey of Theory and Research by Ralph Stogdill and Benard Bass” for The Journal of Religious Leadership, Spring/Fall 2005.

Review of The Good Book on Leadership by John Borek, Danny Lovett, and Elmer Towns in Pastors Today @ newsletter, 2005.

Book Review of The Leader’s Journey by Jim Herrington, R. Robert Creech, and Trisha Taylor for The Journal of Religious Leadership, Spring 2007.

Book Review of Transforming Leadership: A New Vision for a Church in Mission by Norma Cook Everist and Craig L. Nessan for The Journal of Religious Leadership, Fall 2008.


“A Pilgrimage towards Transformational Leadership”, A Review of “Becoming a Leader of No Reputation” by R. Scott Rodin, published for the Academy of Religious Leadership, April 25-27, 2003, Minn. MN.

“Level Five Leadership and Selected Biblical Issues” published for ARL, April 30-May 2, 2004 at Pittsburgh, PA.

“The Role of Theological Identity in a Holistic Model of Leadership:” A Reaction to Mark Lau Branson’s Articles “Forming God’s People” and “Forming Church, Forming Mission” published for ARL, April 30-May 2, 2004, Pittsburg, PA.

Response to “Open Door Community Church Case Study” published for the Academy of Religious Leadership Conference, April 28-May 1, 2005.

“Power and the Change Agency Mission of the Church” published for the Academy of Religious Leadership Conference, April 27-29, 2007, Louisville, KY.

“The Flexibility of Jesus’ Leadership Style in Light of Emotional Intelligence Research” presented at Southwest Regional Meeting of ETS at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, March 11, 2005.

“Transformational/Servant Leadership: A Potential Synergism for an Inclusive Leadership Style” Featured Presenter (First Southern Baptist to be invited to be a featured presenter at the ARL) at the Academy of Religious Leadership meeting, April 18, 2009, Chicago, IL.

“The Reflection of the Nature of Jesus in the Biblical Models of Transformational and Servant Leadership Stances and the Resulting Efficacy for Producing an Inclusive Leadership Style” presented at the Southwest Regional Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, February 26, 2010.

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.

Translate »
Scroll to Top