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American Black Journal

Rev. Robert Smith, Jr Full Interview

There’s no other voice like it in the world. None other than the queen of soul. Aretha Franklin got her gospel start at Detroit’s New Bethel Baptist church, which was pastored by her father, the reverend C.L. Franklin. Throughout her life, Aretha returned to the church many times to sing, attend services and host charitable events. Rev. Robert Smith, Jr. Became New Bethel’s senior pastor in 1984.

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