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Rev. Jasper Williams Jr. to deliver Aretha Franklin’s eulogy

The Rev. Jasper Williams Jr., senior pastor of Salem Baptist Church in Atlanta, will deliver the eulogy at a private funeral for Aretha Franklin on Aug. 31.

Williams, a powerful preacher and award-winning singer, also delivered the eulogy for the Queen of Soul’s father, the Rev. C.L. Franklin in 1984.

RelatedAretha Franklin’s role in shaping the civil rights movement

Williams considered C.L. Franklin to be a beloved mentor.

In a video posed  on his Facebook page, the Rev. Joseph L. Williams asked his father how it felt to preach the funeral of Franklin, who died of pancreatic cancer Aug. 16 at age 76. 

His father called it a privilege to preach at the funeral of the daughter of C.L. Franklin.

“My admiration, love and respect for Dr. . Franklin is infinite,” the elder Williams said in the video. “In other words, there are no boundaries. There are no limitations. I feel like what I was privileged to have done 34 years ago when I preached his funeral Aug. 11, 1984...God put a comma there. To me and in my mind at the time, it was a period. It was the end of the greatest anticipation of what ever I wanted as a preacher.”

However,  when “Respect” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” singer  asked him to preach at her funeral, it was as if “God was taking that period and pulling the line down to make it a pause or a comma...It was one of the things that God just gave me.”

While the funeral is private, the public can pay its respect to the legendary singer at public viewings Aug. 28 and 29 viewing.


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