Ollin Jackson Owens was born to John Elverson and Juanita (Fulford) Owens on October 1, 1910, in Wayne County, North Carolina. Owens graduated from Wake Forest University in 1935 and was ordained on February 17, 1935, in the First Baptist Church in Wilson, N.C. He earned his Master of Theology from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1938.
Owens was pastor for Marshall Baptist Church in Marshall, N.C. from 1938-1940, Ridge Springs Baptist Church in Ridge Springs, S.C. from 1940-1946, First Baptist Church in Winnsboro, S.C. from 1946-1952, and Eastlan Baptist Church in Greenville, S.C. from 1952-1966. He was the director of the Southern Baptist Annuity Board Ministry from 1966-1977. Owens was also very involved in the academic world. He was a trustee for Furman University from 1952-1959, and a trustee for North Greenville College from 1980-1983.
Owens married Loulie Latimer on April 25, 1939, and they had one daughter, Mary Greer Owens. Owens died on December 25, 1983, and is buried at Springwood Cemetery in Greenville, SC.