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The Reverend Dr. Clarence LaVaughn Franklin


The Reverend Dr. Clarence LaVaughn Franklin

Photo courtesy of The Michigan Chronicle



Before Aretha Franklin became "The Queen of Soul," Her father, the Reverend C.L. Franklin was already "The Pastor of Millions," a distinction he earned by selling millions of copies of his seventy-six recorded sermons, including the most famous of them," The Eagle Stirreth Her Nest."

Born in Mississippi, January 22, 1915, C.L. Franklin entered the ministry when he was fourteen. After completing his college education, he began his pastoral duties as a circuit preacher in Mississippi. Later, he was called to full-time pastoring by three Baptist Churches, the last of which was the New Bethel Church in Detroit where he served for thirty-eight years. Through the church's weekly radio broadcasts, thousands heard the consummate preacher and enjoyed established and rising gospel artists, including his children, Aretha, Erma, Carolyn and Cecil.

Rev. Franklin was also a noted civic leader, most memorably organizing a Freedom March in Detroit that attracted 500,000 marchers in June of 1963 and featured the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who delivered the first draft of his "I Have a Dream" speech.

Though Rev. Franklin died July 27, 1984, ministers are still studying and imitating his sermons--a testament to the strength of his contributions to the gospel tradition.
 



 

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