Mary Steele Thompson

Photo of Mary Thompson

Theological Librarian

Phone: (704) 406-4294


  • A.A., Brevard College
  • B.A., Pfeiffer University
  • M.A. Church & Community, Scarritt College for Christian Workers
  • M.L.S., North Carolina Central University School of Library & Information Sciences


Mary S. Thompson is the Public Services Librarian of the John R. Dover Memorial Library and serves on the faculty of the M. Christopher White School of Divinity as the Theological Librarian. She is also library liaison to the School of Psychology and Counseling, and teaches a required course in Research Skills as adjunct faculty for the Degree Completion Program. Mary has also served as a style reader for Gardner-Webb Doctor of Ministry projects and as pianist for chapel services.

Mary came to Gardner-Webb University in 1998 from Anson Community College (now South Piedmont Community College) in Polkton, North Carolina, where she was the Librarian, the Chief GED Examiner, and the advisor to Phi Theta Kappa, the national academic honor society of the two-year college.  In her 13 years as the Chief GED Examiner, Mary tested and held individual consultation sessions, not only for students on the college campus, but also for inmates at the Anson Correctional Center and at the Brown Creek Correctional Institution.

Mary completed her Associate of Arts degree from Brevard College in Brevard, NC, her Bachelor of Arts degree in Christian Education from Pfeiffer University in Misenheimer, NC, her Master of Church and Community degree from Scarritt College for Christian Workers in Nashville, TN, and her Master of Library Science degree from the North Carolina Central University School of Library and Information Sciences in Durham, NC.  During her 30 years of working full-time in academic librarianship for Anson and Gardner-Webb, Mary has served in the capacities of Assistant Librarian, Librarian, Acting Director, and Public Services Librarian. She was appointed by Governor James B. Hunt to serve on the Community Resource Council for Anson Correctional Center, an appointment she served for many years before coming to Gardner-Webb. In 1996 Mary was nominated by the Executive Vice President of Anson Community College and selected for recognition at the first North Carolina Library Association Leadership Institute.

Prior to becoming a librarian, Mary served as the Director of Christian Education at First United Methodist Church in Wellington, KS, at Central United Methodist Church in Mooresville, NC, and at First United Methodist Church in Wadesboro, NC.  In addition to serving as accompanist, she has also directed children, youth and adult choirs, as well as, organizing and directing handbell choirs for youth and adults. Mary frequently sings with Gardner-Webb’s Choral Union, has played with the University’s handbell choir, and has sung with the award-winning Carolina Style Chorus of Sweet Adelines International.

Mary is currently the Church Pianist at both Cliffside United Methodist Church in Cliffside, NC and at Avondale United Methodist Church in Henrietta, NC, playing for worship on Sunday mornings at one church at 9:45 and the other church at 11:00.  She has one daughter, Ashley, who is working for the Richland County Public Library in Columbia, SC.