Southern Christian Leadership Conference

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The Southern Christian Leadership Conference is in turmoil again, this time with the resignation of its president, the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth.

But the group's board, holding a leadership retreat in Atlanta, insists the organization still has the ability to keep alive the message of peace and unity fostered by its co-founder, the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.

Executive vice president Charles Steele of Tuscaloosa is expected to be named the SCLC's interim president today. Steele says the spirit of King and other civil rights leaders is still alive, and there is an obligation to make the organization relevant.

But Shuttlesworth, who resigned Wednesday, questions whether the group's current leadership can recover from entrenched financial strife and internal squabbling. That includes last year's resignation of the previous president, Martin Luther King III, and this summer's chaotic convention in which police had to be called to keep the peace.