Printed from:

Welcome to Columbia Magazine  

New Chair of CU Board of Trustees is native of Lebanon, KY

Owens was one of seven children born to George and Grace Owens of Lebanon, KY, where they still live. While he was still a student in high school he worked at the Lebanon, KY, radio station, WLBN. He entered then Campbellsville College intent on a career in broadcast, but by the end of his first semester, his salvation experience put him on a new life journey, into the minstry. Now he's senior pastor of a large Lexington, KY church, Shiloh Baptist, and chairman of the board of trustees at now Campbellsville University
Click on headline for full story with photo(s)

By Joan C. McKinney

CAMPBELLSVILLE, KY - Dr. Joe Owens of Lexington, KY, the new chair of Campbellsville University's Board of Trustees, said he wants to work to ensure that all students are afforded an education in spite of their financial standing and that the university remains true to her mission and vision.

Owens, who is senior pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church in Lexington, KY, became chair of the board at the January board meeting. Owens said that his vision as the board chair is to assist our president in ensuring that CU has the financial, facility and people resources needed to actualize his vision.

He said that it is also imperative that we work to ensure that all students are afforded an education in spite of their financial standing. This is especially important to me as I reflect on my own past limited funding and the financial support afforded me by CU.

Owens was one of seven children born to George and Grace Owens of Lebanon, KY, where they still live. "While in high school, I worked at WLBN, a local radio station in Lebanon," he said. "I had a great desire to continue a career in broadcasting but wanted to attend college near my hometown."

In 1972, he was granted admission to then Campbellsville College. "My family had meager financial resources; therefore, I really did not have the funds to attend college," he said.

He said Campbellsville provided him with grants, loans and a work-study job.

"The college quickly became my extended family as well as provided me needed spiritual guidance," he said. "I vividly recall surrendering my life to the Lord at the end of my first semester. My salvation experience started me on a new life journey."

He graduated from Campbellsville University in 1977 obtaining a bachelors of arts degree.

"I am grateful to God for the academic, spiritual, emotional and social foundation received at CU, which enables me to be a contributing member of God's family," he said.

Campbellsville has played a major role in shaping his life, he says

Owens said, "Campbellsville played a major role in nurturing and preparing me in answering my call. I deem it an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to serve and give back to a place that nurtured me."

Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of Campbellsville University, said, "Dr. Joseph Owens has served with distinction and dedication on the Board of Trustees of Campbellsville University for a number of years, including the past few years as vice chairman.

"His recent selection to become the new chairman of the Board of Trustees is a testimony to his leadership skills, dedication to Campbellsville University and the high esteem in which he is held by his fellow trustees."

Dr. Carter said that Dr. Owens brings a servant's heart, proven commitment to Christian higher education and extraordinary professional achievements to this role on our Board of Trustees.

"We look forward to working with Chairman Owens and other members of the board as we work tirelessly to implement Vision 2025, our long-term blueprint for the future."

Attended seminary in Louisville, KY

After graduating from CU, Owens attended The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, and received a master of divinity and master of religious education. His received his doctor of ministry from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.

From an alumni perspective, Owens said he views the Board of Trustees as "participating in changing the lives of thousands of students who will one day touch the lives of millions of people around the world."

As chair, he believes that role is one of "a major servant leader role that allows me to lead the way in commitment, service and sacrifice.

"I am excited about this opportunity to bring to life the mission and core values of CU. The decisions we make as trustees profoundly affect every aspect of campus life."

Owens has served on the Board of Trustees for the past eight years and said this his appointment as chair gives an even greater opportunity to give back to an institution that means so much to his family and to him.

Over the past 35 years as an alumnus of CU, he has served in various capacities on several of the volunteer boards. He is also a member of the Campbellsville University Church Relations Council.

Calls Dr. Carter finest university president in the nation

Having worked with CU President Michael V. Carter as a member of the Board of Trustees, Owens said, "We have the finest university president in the nation. Dr. Carter's passion, vision and leadership have elevated us to heights greater than we could have ever imagined 100 years ago. Our president has the ability to conceptualize, articulate and execute a bold vision for the next century.

"As chair, I want to continue the awesome legacy of all the former chairpersons who served at CU. We must all work together to ensure that this university will be here for many years to come," Owens said.

Owens said CU provides students with: a Christian extended family that cares enough to nurture, Christian mission and core values, an excellent student/faculty radio, diversity with local, national and international students, the opportunity to obtain associate, bachelor's and master's level degrees, online classes and local driving distance for many.

Owens is married to Elizabeth White Owens of Jacksonville, Fla., who he met in 1973 at Campbellsville University. In the summer of 1974, he and Elizabeth married and will have been married 38 years in June. He and his wife had only been married a year when he was called to the ministry. Mrs. Owens is a child guidance specialist with the Fayette County Schools. He and his wife have two children, Charisa Jene and John Mark. -Joan C. McKinney

This story was posted on 2012-03-08 07:36:10
Printable: this page is now automatically formatted for printing.
Have comments or corrections for this story? Use our contact form and let us know.

Dr. Joe Owens, native of Lebanon, KY, new CU Board chair

2012-03-08 - Campbellsville, KY - Photo by Joan C. McKinney, CU.
CAMPBELLSVILLE, KY - Dr. Joe Owens, center, of Lexington, is given a certificate of appreciation for his service on Campbellsville University's Board of Trustees. He succeeds Dr. Jay Conner, left, of Nashville, TN., as chair of the board. At right is Dr. Michael V. Carter, Campbellsville University president.

Read More... | Comments? | Click here to share, print, or bookmark this photo.


Quick Links to Popular Features

Looking for a story or picture?
Try our Photo Archive or our Stories Archive for all the information that's appeared on


Contact us: Columbia Magazine and are published by D'Zine, Ltd., PO Box 906, Columbia, KY 42728.
Phone: 270.403.0017

Please use our contact page, or send questions about technical issues with this site to All logos and trademarks used on this site are property of their respective owners. All comments remain the property and responsibility of their posters, all articles and photos remain the property of their creators, and all the rest is copyright 1995-Present by Columbia! Magazine and D'Zine, Ltd. Privacy policy: use of this site requires no sharing of information. Voluntarily shared information may be published and made available to the public on this site and/or stored electronically. Anonymous submissions will be subject to additional verification. Cookies are not required to use our site. However, if you have cookies enabled in your web browser, some of our advertisers may use cookies for interest-based advertising across multiple domains. For more information about third-party advertising, visit the NAI web privacy site.