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February 11-- Nearly 300 guests gathered at First Baptist Church of Lyons last week for Brewton-Parker’s annual Warren C. Crawley, Sr. Gala.

crawley19Celebrating African-American History Month and the diversity of our community and the church, the evening honored the legacy of Warren C. Crawley by providing funding for scholarships for students in need.

A Heritage of Reconciliation

Warren C. Crawley was an ex-slave and a vital figure in the history of the college. In 1904, Crawley encountered several local churches that dreamed of establishing a Christian school in the community. At the time, these churches did not have sufficient acreage to establish the school, so Crawley, in a Christ-like act of reconciliation in a segregated time, donated five acres of his own land. These five acres comprised one-third of the original tract and enabled the foundation for Union Baptist Institute’s inaugural campus. This campus would later become Brewton-Parker College. Crawley made this astounding contribution knowing that the strict segregation of the pre-civil-rights South would prohibit his own grandchildren from enrolling.

Over a century later, BPC’s campus now flourishes with a diverse student body that consists of 45 percent minorities, an unimaginable diversity during Crawley’s lifetime.

In recognition of his humanitarian deed and in honor of his heritage, BPC initiated the annual gala in 2017 to raise funds for the construction of a new male dormitory. Due to the outstanding support of the local community and foundations, BPC was able to raise sufficient funds to begin construction on the Warren C. Crawley Commons, which currently has a projected completion by May 2019.

For staff use only.