Bishop Paul S. Morton, of Changing A Generation Ministries , will perform during the Friday funeral service of his longtime friend, Aretha Franklin.
Morton will perform “O Mary, Don’t You Weep,” with the award-winning gospel singer Yolanda Adams.
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He said the song was one of Franklin’s favorites.
Both have roots that run deep in the church. The Morton and Franklin relationship goes back about five decades.
His father, Bishop C.L. Morton Sr., was close friends with Franklin’s father, the Rev. C.L. Franklin. They both had popular radio shows.
“This is going to be a hard one for me,” said Morton, who grew up in Windsor, Ontario.
Morton will be among several Atlantans who will have a prominent role at the service.
Singer Jennifer Holliday will perform and Pastor Jasper Williams Jr. will deliver the eulogy. Williams is pastor emeritus of Salem Bible Church, which has two locations in metro Atlanta.
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Morton has performed with Franklin during some of her shows. “We were very, very close in that area,” he said.
He said he had never talked with the talented singer, composer and musician, who died earlier this month at age 76 of pancreatic cancer, about singing during her funeral service.
However, “She knew I would be there for her,” he said. “I’m honored.”
In 1972, he moved to New Orleans. Not long after, he became the senior pastor of the Greater St. Stephen Missionary Baptist Church. He served for 33 years. Under his leadership, it became a Full Gospel Baptist Church, according to the church’s web site.
Morton is also an author and a gifted singer, having received five Stellar Awards.