Prayers for Aretha Franklin: New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit holds service

'The Queen of Soul' is in hospice care

DETROIT – A prayer service was held Wednesday morning for Aretha Franklin at the church her father once ran. 

People from the across the country and the world have been paying respect to the 76-year-old "Queen of Soul." On Monday, her family announced she was "gravely ill." She has been in hospice care surrounded by friends and family in Detroit. 

At New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, where Franklin grew up, a prayer service was held early Wednesday morning. It's the same church where her father, C.L. Franklin, was a preacher. 

Watch a report from the service above. 

Click here to view ClickOnDetroit's full coverage of Aretha Franklin.

Supporters gather at Bert's

Bert's in Detroit's Eastern Market is known to bring out music lovers, and a small group called Detroit Sings gathers there on Tuesdays.

"We teach mostly Motown or Detroit music," Beth Goldstein said. "Whoever shows up, it becomes the choir."

On Tuesday, the tunes being belted out were from the Queen of Soul.

"When we heard about Aretha and the current circumstances, we immediately decided we wanted to honor her and sing one of her songs. So we picked 'Think.'"

The melody echoed loudly inside Bert's as the 76-year-old Franklin continues to rest with family members and friends. Stevie Wonder and the Rev. Jesse Jackson were among Tuesday's visitors.

Roschelle Laughhunn and her friends said they hope the world gets a little more time with Franklin.

"She's like Auntie ReRe," Laughhunn said. "She feels like your next-door neighbor. You feel like you know her even though you know you don't."

Franklin has a way of making every tune her own. Her soulful music spans generations and brings back memories.

"You know when you were growing up and Aama put on the music, it was time to clean up the house," Laughhunn said. "It was Aretha at my mama's house."

About the Author:

Nick joined the Local 4 team in February of 2015. Prior to that he spent 6 years in Sacramento covering a long list of big stories including wildfires and earthquakes. Raised in Sterling Heights, he is no stranger to the deep history and pride Detroit has to offer.