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Archives and Special Collections at Southeastern: Owens, M.O papers

This guide is designed to introduce researchers to Archives and Special Collections at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

M. O. Owens papers, 1943-2011

Creator(s): Milum Oswell Owens, Jr., 1913-2019
Date(s): 1943-2011
Extent: 14.15 cu.ft.

Biographical Note: M. O. Owens (1913 - 2019) served over fifty years in the pastoral ministry. He was pastor of Myrtle Beach Baptist Church (1939–1942), Palmetto Baptist Church, Palmetto, FL (1942–1944), First Baptist Church, Marion, NC (1944–1951), First Baptist Church, Lenoir, NC (1951–1960), East Baptist Church, Gastonia, NC (1960–1964), and Parkwood Baptist Church, Gastonia, NC (1964–1980). Since retirement in 1980, he served as interim pastor of numerous churches. He attended Furman University (B.A.), Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Th.M., 1939), and Luther Rice Seminary (D. Min., 1976).

Owens also served at various times in denominational and academic positions. He was a member of the General Board of the North Carolina Baptist State Convention, a member of the Sunday School Board (SBC), a North Carolina Director on the Home Mission Board, a trustee of Gardner-Webb College, and a faculty member at Fruitland Baptist Bible Institute. He was a proactive leader in the Conservative Resurgence within the SBC as founder and first president of Baptists United, founder and first president of The Baptist Faith and Message Fellowship, founder and first Chairman of the Trustees of the Southern Baptist Advocate, and founder and first president of Conservative Carolina Baptists.

He published three books: Encouraging the Saints (1989), a practical commentary on 2 Corinthians, God! Do You Hear Me? (2009), a common-sense explanation of biblical teaching on prayer, and A History of Eller Memorial Baptist Church (Greensboro, NC) (1987). He also edited and published for a number of years a small publication, The Watchman.

Scope and Contents: This collection contains correspondence, sermon notes, articles, periodicals, and records of conservative organizations and publications within the Southern Baptist Convention such as the Baptists United, the Baptist Faith and Message Fellowship, Conservative Carolina Baptists, and the Southern Baptist Advocate. A small number of photographs are also included. Over five hundred audio recordings of Owens’ sermons and long-running radio program, The Watchman Program, are also included.

Arrangement: This collection is organized into two distinct parts, each representing a distinct portion of Owens' career. The first series deals with Owens' association with the Conservative Resurgence within the Southern Baptist Convention. This series is subdivided topically. The second series reflects Owens' pastoral ministry and is comprised of his sermons and radio addresses. These are arranged in five sub-series, each of which follow Owens' original order. One sub-series is grouped by the book of the Bible from which the sermon or address is taken. The second sub-series is arranged by the topic of the sermon or address. The third sub-series contains additional writings and correspondence. The fourth sub-series contains artifacts. The fifth subseries contains audio recordings of Owens' sermons and radio program..
Language(s): English
Conditions Governing Access: This collection is open for research.
Related Materials: Milum Oswell Owens Papers, Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives, Nashville, Tennessee.
Custodial History: M. O. Owens donated the bulk of the materials to SEBTS in February, 2002. Additional accessions were received in February 2008, April 2009, and August 2011, January, 2016. The accession largely consisting of what would become series two of this collection was acquired in October 2018. An additional accession consisting of over five hundred cassettes was received from Mary O. Lancaster, M.O. Owens' daughter, in April 2022.
Processing History: Collection processing completed December 2013 by Craig Freeman. EAD finding aid created April 20, 2016 by Bill Youngmark. Reviewed and updated in September 2018 Shea Van Schuyver. Reviewed, updated, and accession added in December 2018 by Charles Haley. Reviewed, updated, and accession added in July 2022 by Josh Pruitt and Drew Dickerson. 
Preferred Citation: M.O. Owens papers, Archives and Special Collections, Library at Southeastern, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, NC.
Repository: Archives and Special Collections, Library at Southeastern, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, NC
Resource Identifier: ARC.013
Subjects and Access Points:
Conservative Resurgence;
Baptists United;
Baptist Faith and Message Fellowship;
Southern Baptist Advocate;
Conservative Carolina Baptists;
North Carolina Baptist State Convention;
Southern Baptist Convention, Sunday School Board;
Southern Baptist Convention, Home Mission Board;
Gardner-Webb College;
Fruitland Baptist Bible Institute;
Myrtle Beach Baptist Church, Myrtle Beach, NC;
Palmetto Baptist Church (Palmetto, FL);
First Baptist Church (Marion, NC);
First Baptist Church (Lenoir, NC);
East Baptist Church (Gastonia, NC);
Parkwood Baptist Church (Gastonia, NC);