ATLANTA (WAOK)- The Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s president, Reverend Howard Creecy Jr., has died. SCLC officials say Creecy died of an apparent heart attack in Atlanta Thursday morning.
Creecy, also the pastor of Olivet Church in Fayette County, was elected SCLC president in January after Bernice King, daughter of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., declined the position.
Reverend Dr. Howard W. Creecy, Jr. is a third generation gospel preacher, teacher and pastor. He is the son of Rev. Dr. and Mrs. Howard W. Creecy, Sr. of Atlanta, Georgia and the grandson of Reverend and Mrs. W. W. Creecy of New Orleans, Louisiana. This family’s legacy of leadership now exceeds 100 years of continuous commitment to Christian ministry. Dr. Creecy was born in Mobile, Alabama and reared in the City of Atlanta.
His training for ministry began at Morehouse College and furthered at the graduate level in the Morehouse School of Religion of the Interdenominational Theological Seminary. In addition, he also earned a Doctor of Divinity from Abotra Bible Institute and Seminary.
Dr. Creecy pastored with his father, Reverend Dr. Howard W. Creecy, Sr., at The Olivet Church in Fayetteville, Georgia since March 2002. Under his leadership, the church experienced tremendous growth, including a staff of ministers, administrators, musicians and a pastoral clinical psychologist. Central to the growth and development of Saint Peter Church was his comprehensive and balanced vision of 21st century ministry.
Dr. Creecy was widely sought as a teacher, preacher, evangelist and lecturer in the area of spiritual warfare. He had also been a guest preacher/teacher of various national, state and regional conventions, congresses, and conferences across the country and internationally.
Dr. Creecy was involved in numerous civic, social and political activities. He was elected the national president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in January 2011. Creecy also served as former chairman of the Atlanta Task Force of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; former chairman of the Board of Directors, Project Re-direction, Atlanta University Criminal Justice Institute; and Founding National Board member of the Organization of New Equality (ONE), Boston, Massachusetts. He has been honored and inducted by his alma mater, Morehouse College, into the Martin Luther King International Chapel Board of Ministers and is a member of the NAACP.
He was the first African American to serve as Director of the Office of Chaplain Services for Atlanta Fulton County Government and was recognized by many as Atlanta Fulton County’s pastor.
Dr. Creecy is married to Yolanda Grier Creecy and they are the parents of two daughters, Teresa and Kennedy.
Reaction to the death of Dr. Creecy is being expressed from many who worked closely with him throughout the years.
City Council member C.T. Martin and Micheal Julian Bond offered their thoughts on the death of Dr. Creecy.
“I would like to express my deepest condolences to the Creecy family. Rev. Creecy was a man that exemplified integrity and leadership. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Mrs. Yolanda Grier Creecy; his mother Marguerite P. Creecy; his two sisters; his two daughters, Teresa and Kennedy; and his congregation at the Olivet Baptist Church.”
“My heart goes out to his wife, his daughters, and his mother. My father worked with Rev. Creecy in the 1960s during the Civil Rights Movement. Rev. Creecy became a friend to my father, a mentor to me, and a spiritual leader to thousands of others. This is a tremendous loss for our city and for the nation. We have just lost a giant in our community. His work had an incredible impact – from the pulpit to the street. He was always ready to help anyone and so generous with his care, his time, and his concern. He was a special person. We have a huge obligation to continue his great work. He will be missed.”
Barely a month before his death, Dr. Creecy appeared on Powertalk with Lorraine Jacques White and he talked about the future of the SCLC and the need for the organization to remain strong and viable.
Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, August 6, at 11 am at Jackson Memorial Baptist Church, 534 Fairburn Road NW Atlanta in Fairburn.