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Former pop star is new church pastor in Kansas

SYRACUSE, Kan. (AP) -- Former pop star Frankie Valens has a new gig as a preacher in western Kansas.

Valens and his wife, Phyllis, moved to Syracuse about a month ago, where he is pastor of the First Christian Church.

The 70-year-old Valens tells The Garden City Telegram (http://bit.ly/Wm4Q7y ) he's never preached from a pulpit. But he says he's been testifying about his faith for years, so he is prepared for his new challenge.

Valens' father pastored the same church in 1978 and 1979.

Valens was popular in the 1960s and '70s for hits such as "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" and "The Lion Sleeps Tonight."

After his career ended, he and his wife toured the country performing gospel songs and skits at various functions before settling in Clearwater a few years ago.