Platinum gospel recording artist Donnie McClurkin of Rockville Centre and his Grammy-nominated siblings will say goodbye to their beloved mother Frances McClurkin during a soul-stirring home-going service and celebration of her life on Friday, Jan. 25, at Greater Allen AME Cathedral of New York in Jamaica.
Doors to the Queen’s church, at 110-31 Merrick Boulevard, will open at 6:30 p.m., and the service is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. (It originally was to be held at Perfecting Faith Church on Long Island’s South Shore but was moved to the larger Greater Allen AME Cathedral to accommodate the expected turnout.)
Frances McClurkin passed away on Friday, Jan. 18, at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bethpage, N.Y., after complications from a massive heart attack she suffered on Jan. 13. She was 79.
Born in Far Rockaway and raised in Harlem, she was a talented singer and piano player as a child. At 17, she moved with her family to Long Island and, at 21, married Donald McClurkin Sr., a local construction worker. They settled in Amityville where she lived for several decades.
She was a devoted wife and mother to nine children, to whom she imparted her love of God, the church, gospel music and singing. In recent years, she attended Perfecting Faith Church, where her eldest son Donnie is founder and senior pastor. He often shared humorous stories about his mother during sermons on Sunday mornings from the pulpit and liked to refer to her as the 3,000-member congregation’s “first lady.”