Ollin Jackson Owens was born to John Elverson and Juanita Fulford Owens on October 1, 1910, in Wayne County, North Carolina. He was the second of four children. Owens graduated from Wake Forest University in 1935, and earned his Master of Theology from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1938. He was ordained on February 17, 1935, in the First Baptist Church in Wilson, NC. Owens was pastor for Marshall Baptist Church in Marshall, NC from 1938-1940, Ridge Springs Baptist Church in Ridge Springs, SC from 1940-1946, First Baptist Church in Winnsboro, SC from 1946-1952, and Eastlan Baptist Church in Greenville, SC from 1952-1966. He was the Annuity Secretary for the South Carolina Baptists 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. He died on December 25, 1983, and is buried at Springwood Cemetery in Greenville, SC.
Owens married Loulie Latimer on April 25, 1939, and they had one daughter, Mary Greer Owens, on January 17, 1942.