The president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference has died. The civil rights organization confirmed that the Reverend Howard Creecy, Jr., died early on Thursday in Atlanta. He was 57 years old.
In a statement released Thursday afternoon, SCLC officials said Creecy's family members suspect a heart attack and that an autopsy is planned.
“We thank the community for the outpouring of compassion and condolences during this difficult time,” said Creecy's wife Yolanda Grier Creecy and his family in the statement.
SCLC officials said Isaac Newton Farris Jr., the nephew of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., will take over as interim president of the organization.
Creecy was elected president of the organization in January after Bernice King, the daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr., declined the post.
Creecy was a preacher at The Olivet Church in Fayetteville, Georgia. He was also the Fulton County government chaplain for 28 years. He resigned from that position in April, saying he needed more time to focus on the SCLC duties.