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Billy Owen Obituary and Services Information

January 19 2022

Rev. Billy N. Owen passed away at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Union County on January 17, 2022, at the age of 66. He was born December 13, 1955, to J.W. and Delco Childers Owen in Tippah County, MS. He held a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Mississippi, a Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi School of Law, and a Master of Divinity from Memphis Theological Seminary. He worked as an attorney in private practice, the State of Mississippi, and the Langston Law Firm in Booneville, MS. He was an Elder in the Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church, in which he had been pastoring since 1988. He created a "non-anxious presence" in the midst of crisis, seeking to be a peacemaker. He enjoyed genealogical research, restoring Farmall tractors, and supporting the arts. He was active in Walk To Emmaus and Cursillo. He had a heart for building community, having been raised in a family active in 4-H and the New Hope Community Club (TCDC). Wherever he lived, he became active in a local civic club and served as a volunteer chaplain at hospitals. He was a member of Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity and of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity. 

He pastored the following churches throughout Mississippi: Carolina UMC in Booneville, Pisgah UMC in Rienzi, Bethlehem UMC in New Albany, New Covenant UMC in Meridian, Decatur UMC in Decatur, Cleveland UMC in Cleveland, Merigold UMC in Merigold, and St. Andrew's UMC in Oxford. He was District Superintendent in Meridian and New Albany Districts. 

He is survived by his wife of forty-one years, Renelda Pharr Owen; two sons, Whitney Owen of Carterville, IL, and Dr. Andrew Owen of Baton Rouge, LA; one granddaughter, Emily Ann Owen; and one grandson, Graham David Owen both of Carterville, IL. 

He is preceded in death by his parents and one brother, Eddie Owen. 

Officiating will be Rev. Dr. Warren Black. Pallbearers will be Marty Miskelly, Kevin Nicholson, Brandon Pharr, Ben Pharr, Hall Miskelly, and Austin Nicholson. Honorary pallbearers will be clergy of the MS Conference, who are asked to wear black robes with white stoles and sit together during the service.

The family requests that all guests adhere to CDC guidelines regarding masks and social distancing.


Visitation for Billy Owen will be Wednesday, January 19, 2022 from 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM (CT) at McBride Funeral Home, Inc., 206 N. Commerce St, Ripley, MS 38663.  Funeral Services will be Thursday, January 20, 2022 at 2:00 pm at Bethlehem United Methodist Church, 1560 County Road 61, New Albany, MS.  Visitation will be at 1:00 pm Thursday prior to the service at Bethlehem UMC.  A procession to Jacobs Chapel Cemetery will follow the funeral service with a brief graveside service at the cemetery located at 6211 CR 701 in Ripley, MS.