By BosNewsLife Americas Service
NEWARK, USA (BosNewsLife)– A funeral service was held Saturday, February 18, for American singer Whitney Houston at New Hope Baptist Church in the U.S. State of New Jersey, where the star first showed off her singing talents as young as 11.
The service was dedicated to the woman known worldwide for hits such as “I will always love you” but who was also getting high marks for her, perhaps less reported, stunning performance of Gospel songs that included a moving singing of “Yes, Jesus loves me, For the Bible tells me so (so), Jesus loves me this I know, For the bible tells me so, Little ones to him belong, They are weak but he is strong…”
And on the original soundtrack album for the film ‘The Preacher’s Wife’ she sang “I love the Lord, He heard my cry” with the dedication and vocal cords of someone who lived, and walked, the talk.
Houston died last week at the age of 48 in a Beverly Hills hotel, where she was found underwater in a hotel bathtub on the eve of the music industry’s Grammy Awards. A cause of death has yet to be determined, but she was known to struggle with alcohol and drugs abuse.
Whitney Houston’s funeral service was taking place at the same New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey, where the music icon first showed off her singing talents as a kid.
Family and friends celebrating Whitney’s life included her cousin Dionne Warwick, music moguls Clive Davis, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, R. Kelly, Tyler Perry, Kevin Costner, and the Reverend Jesse Jackson.
Houston honed her powerful voice as a young gospel singer in the church’s choir with her mother, Cissy Houston, who was a backup singer for world famous singer Aretha Franklin.
Her talents were soon noted, and she became the world’s best-selling music artists, having sold over 170 million albums and singles worldwide, according to industry estimates. Besides singing, she also successfully launched a career as an actress. In the 1992 movie “The Bodyguard” co-starring Costner, Houston played a character not far removed from her real self, an international singing sensation coping with fame.
Costner said in an emotional speech, “she was often wondering am I good enough, am I beautiful enough.” It was, he added, “the burden that made her great and the part that caused her to stumble in the the end.”
However, “Whitney if you could hear me know I would say: “You are just not good enough, you are great’,” Costner added. “As the debate heats up who had the best voice of the last century and the lists are drawn, it will have little meaning to me if her name is not on it,” he said, with laud applause.
Houston also made the film “The Preacher’s Wife,” but the 15-year period when she was married to singer Bobby Brown coincided with a decline in her performance and frequency of her albums, amid drugs and alcoholic abuse.
In an interview with television star Oprah Winfrey in 2010, she said by the time “The Preacher’s Wife” was released, “(doing drugs) was an everyday thing. … I would do my work, but after I did my work, for a whole year or two, it was every day. … I wasn’t happy by that point in time. I was losing myself.”
The couple, who have an 18-year-old daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, divorced in 2007.
Though her life eventually ended apparently because of drugs and alcohol abuse, preachers said they were sure she was now reunited with the real love of her live, Jesus Christ.
Speakers said, “There was the Grace that brought her, the same Grace that led to all to the top of the charts.”
Whitney Houston, different speakers agreed, “loved the Lord in every conversation we had she said she loves the Lord. She knew that nothing would separate her from the Lord.” And that “If God is before you who would you be against you.”
During the funeral service Apostle Paul was mentioned who wrote in Romans 8:37-39 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Singer Stevie Wonder said about Houston “She loved us so much, and that don’t stop.” In a special song, Wonder exclaimed “Whitney you don’t have to cry, you’r like an angel in the sky. That angel from the choir, from God’s choir, from God’s choir”
Her coffin accompanied by her family and stars was carefully carried out of church as her famous song “I will always love you” and “please don’t cry” echoed throughout the building.”
She was to be buried alongside her father, John Houston Jr., in Westfield, New Jersey.