Aretha Franklin farewells continue at her father's church

Day three of Aretha Franklin's public visitation showed the Queen of Soul in rose gold, the third outfit change of the week for public visitation.

The third day of public visitation was held at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, the same church her father preached at when Aretha was growing up in Detroit.

Final day of Aretha Franklin viewing moves to her hometown church

This was the third wardrobe she'd wore, starting with red on Tuesday, blue on Wednesday, and now rose gold. 

"She's wearing rose gold knit with rose lace and a South Sea pink pearls," Linda Swanson from Swanson Funeral home explained.

Not only was the wardrobe special but the New Bethel Baptist Church was special too.

"She was at home in the church she never left these streets, she never left this church," Jesse Jackson said.

In fact, it was here in this church where Aretha Franklin first started singing, and later on much more.

"These are the people that she made feel good almost daily. Annually she had food program where she fed them for three days and entertain them," Pastor Robert Smith, Jr. said.

Like the first two days of public viewing at the right Museum of African-American history, the crowd was in a good mood, many telling stories about Aretha Franklin, like Yvonne Williams-Suggs who won a talent show singing an Aretha song.

"I won this $50 because of Aretha Franklin's song and you know it meant so much for me to be here this morning and thank you, thank you everybody," Yvonne said.

Shouts of "We love you!" "Ree Ree!" and "Let the Queen through!" could be heard as the white 1940s Cadillac hearse drove down Linwood Street and pulled up to the front of New Bethel. The crowd jockeyed to snap photographs and cell phone videos of Franklin's bronze casket as it was taken into the church just before noon.

"I had to be here," said Joyce E. Stroud, who traveled from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to say goodbye to the icon she first met at a concert in California many years ago.

"I met Aretha when I was 23-years-old in San Francisco at the Fillmore West when she did that historic three-day concert," Stroud said. "That was the first time I was introduced to her and I've been a lifelong fan."

Several dignitaries were also expected to pay their respects at Thursday's viewing, which was opened to the public after the tremendous outpouring of support throughout the week. Thousands attending the two days of public viewings at The Wright Museum.

The sight would've been truly humbling, even for a diva, said Michael Eric Dyson, a friend of Franklin's who attended the New Bethel viewing and will deliver remarks at her service.

"She would be deeply honored and appreciative of the fact that people, for three days, have poured out of every vestibule and crevice of this city and country to travel long miles to recognize her genius."

Linda Swanson, executive vice president of Swanson Funeral Home, echoed the sentiment. The funeral home, which has been in Detroit for 60 years, also handled the arrangements for Franklin's father, the Rev. C.L. Franklin, who preached at New Bethel from 1946 to 1979.

"We, the Swanson family, also love the citizens of Detroit, and so it just swells our hearts with pride and joy to see the city turning out to honor this queen eternal," she said.

Inside New Bethel, the scene was reverent, with gospel music softly playing as a sea of ushers guided mourners into the red-carpeted inner sanctum, decorated with pictures of Franklin and more lavender and pink roses, which also surrounded her at the public viewing earlier this week at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American history.

Her invitation-only funeral will be held at Greater Grace Temple, one of the largest and most famous churches in the city. The church also hosted Parks' funeral in 2005, at which Franklin sang.

Special coverage Friday for the funeral begins on FOX 2 at 9 a.m., with the show "R-E-S-P-E-C-T for the Queen," which features tributes and a look back at all she gave to her city and the world. Immediately following will be the funeral service in its entirety.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.