Kirk Franklin’s life was hardly built on a firm foundation. His father abandoned the family. His mother also abandoned Kirk, and constantly told him he was an unwanted child. He was adopted by his 64-year-old Aunt Gertrude at the age of four. His sister became a crack addict. He never saw a black man who was faithful in marriage. Without a blueprint, he struggled mightily yet managed to triumph even more mightily, dedicating his life to helping others find hope during hardship.