Loulie Latimer Owens was born on March 8, 1912. She graduated from the Greenville Woman's College in 1935 and began a career dedicated to researching and writing about the history of Baptists in the United States, particularly in South Carolina. She was the author of many books on Baptist history, in addition to the scripts for several pageants and short films on the same topic. Owens also served as a contributing editor and monthly columnist for The Baptist Program, co-founder and secretary of the South Carolina Baptist Historical Society, and president of the Southern Baptist Historical Society.
Owens was the first Special Collections librarian at Furman University from 1961-1968; as a member of the South Carolina Tricentennial Commission research staff, 1968-1970; and as curator of exhibits at Midlands Exposition Park, Columbia, prior to her employment at the University of South Carolina 1971-1976 as assistant manuscripts librarian. In 1975, while on the South Caroliniana Library staff, Loulie Owens was awarded an honorary doctor of letters degree by Furman University, her alma mater. She went on to serve as a member of the Furman board of trustees, 1976-1981.
Loulie Latimer married Ollin Jackson Owens on April 25, 1939. They had one daughter, Mary Greer Owens, on January 17, 1942. After the death of her first husband, she married Robert Pettigrew, a columnist for the Baptist Program. Loulie Latimer Owens died on January 15, 1998, and was buried in Springwood Cemetery in Greenville.