Child of the Gospel
A Surprising Situation
Back in Detroit and fifteen years old, Aretha found herself faced with a difficult situation. She was pregnant. Aretha has never publicly identified who the father of the baby is. Though the conservative Baptist Church might not have been accepting of her condition, Reverend Franklin stood by his daughter. He impressed upon her that she would be responsible for a new life, but he also continued to support her dreams of performing.
Several months after giving birth to her son Clarence (named after her father), Aretha rejoined her father's touring revue. Reverend Franklin wanted to continue preparing Aretha for a professional career. Big Mama and Erma took care of young Clarence back in Detroit.