Rev. Dr. Dyton L. Owen
Senior Pastor Chapel Hill UMC
Chapel Hill is pleased to welcome Rev. Dr. Dyton Owen as our Senior Pastor! Sunday, May 2, Dyton will join us in the sanctuary and deliver his first message to us as a congregation during worship at 8:30 and 11:00am. Some members will remember Dyton's parents, Bishop Ray and Lavelle Owen, who chose Chapel Hill as their church on retirement. We celebrate Dyton's arrival and look forward to working together in ministry.
And Dyton has lots of experience in ministry! Born and raised in Oklahoma, he and his two older brothers grew up in a Methodist parsonage. His parents, often took Dyton with them as they traveled, doing the work of ministry around Oklahoma and beyond. Still living at home when his father was a District Superintendent, Dyton traveled with his father around the district, as well as the Conference and Jurisdiction. He is a devoted United Methodist and loves the church and its diverse ministries.
The church is all Dyton has ever known, having served his first church at the age of 20, while in college. He has traveled to many places around the world with his father, as well as for education and mission work. He earned his B.A. in Religion from Oklahoma City University and his Masters of Divinity at Perkins School of Theology in Dallas. In 2009 he completed his Doctor of Ministry in Theology and Worship at Northern Seminary/Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies in Jacksonville, Florida.
Dyton is a published author, having written several devotions for The Upper Room, Circuit Rider and several professional magazines, journals, and online resources such as Next Wave and Ministry Matters. He is the author of Jesus: God Revealed and Remembering Who We Are: Four Essential Marks of the Church. He is also working on several other publishing projects, including a book tentatively entitled The Mind is Metaphor: (Re)discovering Sacred Sign and Symbol in the Life of Faith. Dyton founded Mind’s Eye Publishing which offers editorial and publishing services for self-publishing authors.
In 2006, Dyton and Tammy were married in Oklahoma City. They have 5 children between them, all grown. One is currently in the Army Reserves and has served three tours of duty in Kuwait, Afghanistan and the Baltic States; one served two tour of duty in Iraq. They have three granddaughters, Heidi, Savannah, and Danica and two grandsons, Landen and Judah.
His model of ministry is both “hands-on,” meaning he believes ministry is not simply coming to church or sitting in a pew for any of us; ministry is getting our hands and feet dirty doing the work we are called to do; and “heads-on,” meaning he believes the faith is something that should challenge us to think and grow.
Having studied with Dr. Robert E. Webber and Dr. Leonard Sweet, Dyton’s doctoral work is in the areas of theology and worship, with a focus on sacred sign and symbol as pedagogy (teaching). He strongly believes that the church must adopt the belief of “whatever it takes” to get the Good News to the community and the world, using the gifts of technology to do so. He uses multimedia, the internet, email, and Facebook to reach as many people as possible and to help the church stay connected with its members and the world around it.
Dyton also studied Family Systems Theory with Dr. Edwin Friedman and his protégé. For 8 years, Dyton served as Conference Chair for the Committee on Commissioned Elders of the Board of Ordained Ministry in the Oklahoma Conference. He also served for many years as either the Chair or Registrar for the District Committee on Ministry in two districts. He has served as a church consultant and clergy coach, as well as served as a candidacy mentor for both the Oklahoma the Great Plains Conferences. For 2 years, Dyton was Chair of Samaritan Counseling Center in Bartlesville, OK, and served on the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity, also in Bartlesville.
Dyton’s heroes in the faith and mentors include his father, Bishop Ray Owen, and family friends Dr. E. Stanley Jones, Harry Denman, Dr. Robert E. Webber, Dr. Thomas Jay Oord, and Dr. Leonard Sweet.