United Methodist Churches - Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors.

Our Pastor


Pastor Manilla “Nilla” Owen


Hi.   I am glad you have stopped by our website for the Dansville and Sparta Center United Methodist Churches.     These two wonderful churches have opened their hearts and lives to me since I moved here in July 2015.   They share me, as their pastor, and Hope Johnson, our secretary, yet they are two unique congregations serving two communities adjacent to each other.


I love being a pastor, especially the opportunity to preach each week.    Sometimes the sermons are series, like last summer when we looked at the Fruits of the Spirit and at other times I follow the Common Lectionary which is a three year cycle of four readings that includes one Old Testament, one Psalter, one Gospel and one Epistle readings.


I am a widow with a 16 year old son who attends Dansville High School.    Now that we’ve settled into our parsonage, I am having time to do “crafts”  which includes painting to quilling (not quilting but the twirling paper crafts).   I have also been an active member of the WNY Walk to Emmaus since moving to New York including two 3 year terms on their Board.


I hope to get to know you soon!!


Here are few more items of my “vital” statistics

  •     Born in Dodge City, Kansas and named Manilla Owen after her grandmothers

  •     First child of Virgil and Dolores – joined by Becky, Cliff and Shelly

  •     Lived in Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas

  •     Graduated from Oak Grove HS in rural Pulaski County, Arkansas

  •     Attended Oklahoma Baptist College in Shawnee, Oklahoma

  •     1981 BA in Oral Communications from Baylor University in Waco, Texas

  •     1989 (June) Licensed to Preach, Oklahoma Annual Conference

  •     1989 (June-June) appointed as student pastor at Springer-Gene Autry UMC’s in Oklahoma

  •     1990 (June-June) appointed as student pastor at Springer-Fitzhugh UMC’s in Oklahoma

  •     1990 Ordained Probationary Deacon at Oklahoma Annual Conference 

  •     1991 (June-June) internship as chaplain at HCA Presbyterian Hospital in OKC, Oklahoma

  •     1992 M’Div from SMU, Perkins School of Theology in Dallas, Texas

  •     1992 (July) Appointed to pastor at Gridley-Turkey Creek UMC’s, Kansas

  •     1995 Ordained Full Elder at Kansas East Annual Coynference

  •     1995 (July) Appointed Parish Director Tri-County Parish and pastor at Lyona-Woodbine UMC’s, Kansas

  •     1997 (July) Appointed pastor at Bennington United Church, Kansas

  •     2001 (July) Family Leave

  •     2003 (Jan) Interim pastor Sharon Springs, Kansas

  •     2003 (July) Pavilion-Wyoming UMC, New York

  •     2010 (July) Seneca Castle UMC, New York

  •     2014 (July) Seneca Castle-Newark: Emmanuel UMC’s, New York

  •     2015 (July) Dansville-Sparta Center UMC’s, New York

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