bernice-king.jpgATLANTA (AP) _ The civil rights group co-founded by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. narrowed the list of finalists for its next president Saturday to his youngest daughter and an Arkansas judge.

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference's board of directors will consider the Rev. Bernice King and Arkansas Court of Appeals Judge Wendell Griffen for the organization's top spot.

One will succeed the Rev. Byron Clay, who has served as interim president since February, when Charles Steele resigned after five years in the position.

The SCLC will hold elections to select the next president Oct. 29 at the group's Atlanta headquarters. The two finalists were chosen from a list of five candidates.

Martin Luther King Jr. was the SCLC's first president, serving from 1957 until his death in 1968. His son, Martin Luther King III, was president from 1997 to 2004.

If she is chosen, Bernice King would be the first woman to lead the SCLC. Its longest serving president was the Rev. Joseph Lowery, who served from 1977 to 1997.

Bernice King, 46, is an internationally known motivational speaker and author. She is a minister at New Birth Missionary Church in Lithonia, Georgia.

Griffen, 57, was the first black attorney to work for a major Arkansas law firm. He is an ordained minister and former pastor who serves as coordinator of ministries at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church in Little Rock.


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Pictured above is the Rev. Bernice King.