Southern Christian Leadership Conference president Rev. Howard Creecy Jr., 57, died early this morning the SCLC has confirmed.
According to a story in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Damien Conners of the Atlanta SCLC office said Creecy died of what family members suspect was a heart attack at around 12:30 a.m.
The pastor of The Olivet Church in Fayetteville, Creecy graduated from Douglass High School in 1971 and from Morehouse College in 1975, according to his Facebook page. He was elected SCLC president in late January after Bernice King, daughter of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., declined the position. Before that, he had served as the interim president of the civil rights organization, which was founded by Martin Luther King in 1957.
According to the AJC report, when he took the helm on Jan. 30, Creecy acknowledged that the SCLC had suffered internal divisions in recent years. His mission, he said, was to help define the direction of the group in the 21st century.
Creecy was senior pastor at St. Peter Missionary Baptist Church on Venetian for 26 years before joining his father at Olivet Church in 2002.
His father, Rev. Howard Creecy, Sr., who died in 2008, was a well-known civil rights leader and pastor who marched with Dr. King. His cousin, Atlanta Judge Penny Reynolds is an Emmy-nominated television personality (Family Court with Judge Penny) and author.