Private Funeral For Whitney Houston Saturday At New Hope Baptist Church In Newark

Funeral Is By Invitation Only And Closed To Media

NEWARK, NJ (CBSNewYork) — A private funeral will be held Saturday for Whitney Houston at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, where the pop star sang as a child.

Houston’s funeral service will begin at noon in the sanctuary of the church, but is by invitation only. Delivering her eulogy will be pastor and gospel singer Marvin Winan who presided over Houston’s marriage to ex-husband Bobby Brown.

Houston’s burial will likely be at Fairview Cemetery in Westfield, the same cemetery where her father was buried in 2003. Funeral home owner and longtime family friend Carolyn Whigham said the intimate service is fitting.

“They have shared her for 30 something years with the city, with the state, with the world. This is their time now for their farewell,” said Whigham.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reports

The sanctuary of the church will be closed to the media. The news of a private funeral arrangement has disappointed some fans who wanted of a public funeral or viewing of their icon.

“I think she is a public person. She belongs to everybody,” Daniel Batista said.

“I feel she should have the people close to her. We’re her fans. We have her in our hearts, always,” added another fan.

However, Charles Lee, a former bodyguard for Houston and her family said the private service is what she would have wanted.

“Whitney is a very peaceful person, and in my heart, I feel that she would feel the same way,” he told CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis.

Some local activists, though, are trying to organize a public event and give Houston’s hometown a chance to grieve their greatest love of all.

Earlier, the Prudential Center in Newark confirmed that a two-day, public memorial will be held there, although it is now no longer clear if that will happen. Also on Tuesday, Gov. Chris Christie said he will order flags at all state buildings to be flown at half-staff on Saturday.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond In Newark

The pop diva’s body was flown from Los Angeles to Teterboro Airport late Monday night and arrived shortly before midnight at Whigham Funeral Home, where mourners were waiting with candles and cards.

Photos: Remembering Whitney Houston

“She was very well-loved and I just felt that I needed to be here,” said John Willis from Passaic.

Houston left an indelible mark on the music industry around the world and particularly in Newark, where she grew up. Fans continued to pay tribute Tuesday to the fallen music icon outside the funeral home and outside New Hope Baptist Church.

img 20120214 00055 Private Funeral For Whitney Houston Saturday At New Hope Baptist Church In Newark

A memorial set up for Whitney Houston outside New Hope Baptist Church in Newark on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

Reverend Joe Carter, the pastor of New Hope, said Houston’s family has been struggling to strike a balance between dealing with their own personal grief and sharing the legendary singer’s loss with the rest of the world.

“Because it’s not just the famous people. The obscure, regular old folks loved Whitney Houston,” Carter said.

He said accommodations will be made for the thousands of fans and mourners expected to show up outside the church on Saturday.

“For the public to see, if not all but some of what is the celebration of the life of Whitney Houston,” Carter said.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports

There has also been a glowing tribute to Houston on the Prudential Center’s marquee since Monday night when the singer’s body returned home.

Houston’s family is also carrying on her mission to support the Whitney Houston Academy in East Orange and asking all donations in her memory be sent there.

“We will take that money and use it wisely,” Principal Henry W. Hamilton told CBS 2’s Ann Mercogliano. “In a public school, where sometimes  funds are short for performing arts programs, that will be a tremendous help.”

The singer died Saturday after being pulled from a bathtub at the Beverly Hills Hilton. Police said they found prescription medications in Houston’s room, though they said it was about what an average medicine cabinet might contain.

An autopsy has been conducted, but toxicology tests are pending and the results could take six to eight weeks. Houston’s battle with substance abuse was well-known, leaving many to suspect she may have overdosed.

“The Insider’s” Kevin Frazier talked to a member of Houston’s entourage about the singer’s demeanor on Saturday.  That individual said she “was fine” and not under the influence, adding that Houston “fell and half her body was in the bathtub.”

Houston leaves behind a daughter, 18-year-old Bobbi Kristina Brown, from her marriage to singer Bobby Brown.

Please share your thoughts below…

Comments

One Comment

  1. jackie pugh says:

    minister j.pugh keep being the loving talented person you are in heaven as well on earth love you allways whitney luv jackie

  2. Alberta Cousin says:

    Someone so special that God had bless to touch the hearts and mind of many people of all. Through all trials and tribulation was able to stand. To God be the glory.
    May the family hold to God and each other be each others strength.

  3. AVL in Vietnam says:

    Let’s pray for her. May her soul rest in peace.

  4. faye etheridge says:

    Anyone who would say nasty things regardless if true at a time when others are suffering and feeling pain has not suffered or endured. Death and grief can not be avoided for God has an appointed time for us all. The vehicle which will carry us out of this life is unknown, only One knows. Whitney or anyone who is already in the death state.. did not do it do them selves. God the Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost as One called His child to enter into a sleep that ony He can awaken. He knew the appointed time and place. Spritual beings understand where carnal things are never understood. God Bless every grieving family who have lost a love one.

    1. maria bruno says:

      faye, you touched my heart with the way you addressed your feelings about our dear and beloved whitney. no one should point fingers or judge us. we are all god’s children; whitney, you always touched my heart with your music, like the words were meant for me, “i will always love you” at last the pain and suffering is gone, you got your wings sister, rejoice in god’s kingdom, i just know you’re there. R.I.P. whitney .

  5. Charlene Pryor says:

    What a loss for the world and May God be with her family during this time. I am just sad that she Whitney could not beat her demons but….God saw her struggling and took her home and she is now singing in the quire of “angles” May she rest in peace

  6. Carla Barnes says:

    ALL YOU PEOPLE OUT THERE LEAVING ALL THOSE NEGATIVE COMMENTS DIDN’T YOUR MOTHER TEACH YOU IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE ANYTHING NICE TO SAY DON’T SAY ANYTHING AT ALL WHITNEY I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU. YOU ARE A ANGEL NOW YOU ARE WITH GOD.

  7. jacqueline williams says:

    just a fact everybody loved Whitney Houston and her music, flaws n all she’s human just like the rest of us we take the good, n the bad thats a part of life so people leave her alone.lets just keep her daughter in our prayers n her family and may God continue to watch over them in there time of need. she’s home back in newark were she belongs where her fans don’t judge her, and who are we to judge only God can judge us. we love you whitney houston may you rest in peace welcome home welcome home. gone but never forgotten

    1. Ryan says:

      Exactly, I think they should have opened it up to the public though but I am glad they did not let bobby brown come. He ruined her life. Her voice was one of the most amazing voices I have ever heard! We will all be gone in 2012 anyway so she just got there first!
      http://how-to-survive-the-apocalypse.blogspot.com

  8. tiya Migan says:

    That’s the effect of drugs,, why some people is using that they didn’t value there life? they didn’t value the gift of God; http://snipurl.com/227vub5

    1. nrichard says:

      Wow – you do not get it do you???? No one wakes up at the age of 13 and says “oh gee, I want to be a drug addict” – some people try things and they get hooked and the drug is more powerful than anything you can imagine. Do NOT sit there in judgement until you have walked one minute in the shoes of another person – so easy for you to make what you think are profound statements. It is not about valuing life or valuing God – it’s a disease that some people just can not get well from. How dare you make your trivial comments about something that you obviously know nothing about! You make statements involving God yet you sit in judgement of people – you know Tiya Migan – God loves all people but he loves the people who need his help the most!

  9. Mrs. I. Understand says:

    I’m so glad the family decided to go private. This is an absolute sudden tragedy for everyone near and far but most importantly her daughter and immediate family. The media will turn this into an absolute circus, look at the PAPERS since Saturday. If her family requested confidentiality the papers sure turned the other ear, they made sure they stated she was an excellent singer yet continuously berated her drug and alcohol use. Death is almost too much to bear especially when it’s sudden..its a hard pill to swallow and the last thing you need is thousands of people around as you grieve.

  10. GOD Bless says:

    Go read a bible, Who the hell is you to JUDGE!!!

    1. MR AMERICA says:

      TO GOD BLESS…I SUGGEST YOU TAKE UP ENGLISH NOT EBONICS

  11. ace11 says:

    Thank God….it’s not a big thing

    What a total waste of money would have been spent

    on some crack & booze loving women killing herself

  12. Irene Yong says:

    Whitney’s wake should go public for her fans to pay their last respects, it shouldn’t be a private funeral. I believe she too be proud for her fans of all over America /or the World that wanted to see her for the last time whether in presence or through Media Telecast! Beloved family of Whitney’s share your bereavement with us, her fans who cares and loves her so much, this will comfort your hearts! May God’s comfort be with you!

  13. MANDIE WALTERS, FRM NEWARK, NJ says:

    I DONT CARE WHAT ANYONE SAYS, SHE IS A “NEWARKER” AND SO AM I AND I AM SO PROUD AND HONORED TO HAVE BEEN FROM THE SAME PLACE WHITNEY HOUSTON IS FROM. I LOVED HER SONGS, SHE HAD AN AMAZING VOICE, AND IT IS SO SAD THAT YET ANOTHER PERSON HAS BEEN TAKEN BACK FROM US AT SUCH A YOUNG AGE TO BECOME AN ANGEL WITH GOD.

    MY PRAYERS ARE WITH HER FAMILY, CLOSE FRIENDS, AND TO ALL OF HER FANS.

    MAY YOU REST IN PEACE !! I KNOW YU WILL BE SINGING UP THERE IN HEAVEN WITH YUR BEAUTIFUL VOICE!

    MUCH LOVE AND RESPECT!!

    1. MANDIE WALTERS, FRM NEWARK, NJ says:

      I WISH THAT THEY WOULD HAVE AT LEAST ALLOWED FELLOW “NEWARKERS” TO HAVE BEEN AT THE FUNERAL SINCE SHE WAS & WILL ALWAYS BE APART OF US BUT I ALSO RESPECT THEIR WISHES TO KEEP IT PRIVATE BC THIS IS THEIR TIME TO MOURN AND SAY THEIR FAREWELLS TO WHITNEY.

      WHITNEY YOU ARE LOVED BY BILLIONS AND WILL BE MISSED DEARLY!❤

  14. Velisa says:

    The Greatest Love of All. That is the message Whiney Houston wanted to leave the world, the words to that song. RIP Nippy. You are truly loved.

    1. The the family mourn says:

      How was it her message when she did not write the song hmmmmm makes you think.

  15. Nani Cosme says:

    Before you sit there and judge someone, try walking in there shoes. She may have used drugs but you don’t know what problems she was facing in her life that caused her to use them. I’m not saying it was the right choice but we all have our way of dealing with things and we all make mistakes.

    1. MR AMERICA says:

      TO NANI COSME..YEA SHE WAS UNDER LOTS OF STRESS AND PRESSURE,SO MUCH THAT SHE BLEW $200,000,000+ THATS 200 MILLION PLUS IN CASE YOU CANT FIGURE IT OUT..SHE WAS RELEGATED TO HUNDRED DOLLAR HANDOUTS….LETS ALL THROW A CRYING PARTY FOR THIS OFF KEY CANARY

  16. Paul says:

    We’re so lucky that modern technology allows us to record the voice of a person with almost impeccable quality. Listen to her singing. Hey, Whitney, are you really dead? No, you’re surely not, darling!

  17. sammyMacroy says:

    I think it is very dangerous to pray to the old Lord, because he is not your friend or daddy. Also that M Jackson pray much and his end was terrible the same as this poor woman. I never pray to the Lord, and I see him every day and he smiles always and disappears again and the next day he comes back. I donnot like the Lord and he knows it ofcourse. Most people who are religious or believe in jesus or Mohamed comes in big trouble, because the old Lord can do with you what he wants. He is the boss from this terrible earth..

  18. Rosa Knickelbine says:

    So sad, such a great loss … just when she was about to make a great comeback. WHITNEY HOUSTON We will always love you!

    Someone should have done an intervention … she was just meant for greatness and was too special to leave to go it alone … she was hurting and someone should have been with her and not let that happen!!! I do know Whitney took responsibility for her actions … HOWEVER, there was someone who introduced her to some things that ought not to have been and broke her heart to the point she could not recover … nuff said.

  19. lizmcq says:

    one day, in 1986, i heard her on the radio singing “the greatest love of all”… i had been really depressed and had all but given up. her voice, that song SAVED MY LIFE i will always remember and i will always be grateful. Rest in peace, Beautiful Whitney.

  20. PL says:

    This is a tragedy. The question here is how we treat our celebrities. Such an outpouring of “love”, but where was the real love that should have been shown by the people who managed her. It’s obvious by now that an artist cannot take care of the business, much less personal side, of their lives. Add another name to list: Michael Jackson, Elvis, Janis Joplin…

    1. Family is evil says:

      So sad 100 million and died broke.Thank god for the likes of Tyler Perry to fly her body and family on his pvt jet.Her family used and abused her because when she was high they can keep taking they did not want a sober clen Whitney sad but true as we see now.

      1. Easy come easy go says:

        Yep died broke unlike Michael Jacson she never wrote her songs so only people to make monney will be Sony They own all her Recordings.Clive Davis who produced all 3 of her big albums.But the one who will make most will be Dolly Parton who own rights to her biggest song ever and which is #1 on itunes now go Dolly.Maybe this explains her daughters behavior the money train stopped now for he because dad is broke too.

  21. dorothy mcfarland says:

    i love u whitney but God loved u bless @ He needed u with him now@ i thank for for sharing your voice with me love, dot from the bronnx,ny

  22. renee says:

    No words…Just tears. I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU WHITNEY, you were my childhood idol, i will NEVER forget you. Rest in peace now my love xoxoxo

    1. Idols should be looked up to says:

      No tears just words you were a idol for alot and a bigger letdown for most.You let drugs ruin and take your life.This is what a false idol is.

    2. Teresa says:

      For those of you who had nothing but negative words to say, this all is fine and good..because that just lets me know that you do not Know the God who is or live by the words in the Bible..we all fall short and this is why Jesus died on the cross so that we would be forgiven for our sins. God will forgive you for the words that you have said concerning one of his children. I just wonder what you will be saying out of your mouth when your last day come, will you be standing in front of God telling him what you disliked about another person? I do not think so , you will be focused on saving your soul and making it right with your God. Just remember God sits high and looks low. Right now with those comments that you wrote showing no compassion to a family who has lost a loved one you are not in Gods favor, but God will forgive you if you ask him, which Is something I am sure you will not do. For all of you who are showing compassion for the Houston Family do not waste your time bickering back and forth with the negative ones because then you are just lowering yourself to their standards, some people just like to keep negative things going, let’s just focus on sharing our blessings to the family and keep the negatives prayed up becasue they need it…and as far as Whitney’s daughter is concerned, financially God is the provider and God is in control…Amen

  23. No matter what demons that Ms. Houston dealt with, there is no doubt that she loved the Lord…John 8:7 reads…When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” I loved Whitney like she was my own aunt…It just pains me to see people so focused on her wrongs that they can’t see any of the positive things that she has done and contributed to… Addiction has plagued many families all over the world. People saw hers only because she was in the spotlight the way she was. My family and I are praying for this woman’s family and friends. I pray that Whitney has found perfect peace and I feel deep in my heart that the Lord was there to welcome her into his fold. You are free now Whitney…take your rest. A legend who has passed that left a beautiful legacy.

  24. Larry says:

    The Bible says if you say you Love God and Love not your brother you are a LIAR, I don’t believe anyone can Love God and Hate another person. Some people just have no compassion. This world is so full of people who thrive on negativity that they cannot have any compassion, They love watching others go through pain. Until one day when they are going through the same thing, and they want the compassion and Love that they themselves refuse to give to another, and then may not find it. So Sad

  25. topman says:

    why are some people so carlous to the extent of not having sympathy for the dead? well all i have to say here is that God grant her soul eternal rest and forgives her, her short coming. Remember the good work she has done through her music.

  26. Garrett from NJ says:

    People who say rude things about whitney are truly sick people. This woman most likely lost her battle with addiction. How would some of you feel if someone that you love lost a similar battle? Was she perfect? No, but she battled with some serious demons and unfortunately lost her battle for sobriety. RIP whitney.

    1. Her family should of cared says:

      Sad thing is her family let it happen .They were to greedy to stop the money flow.That is what is truly sad.Poor lady dies broke because of all the leechers around her.

  27. Joanne Stewart says:

    Tom all I can say or have to say is you’re an ASS; no compassion how very sad it does’nt costs a penny she was someone’s Sissy Houston’s daughter, Bobby Kris’s Mommy. Show some respect. Whitney I love you and always will I will miss you and hearing you however the Lord needed you for his Kingdom. Enjoy your rest my Love.

  28. Tim Taylor says:

    hey my girl

  29. ace11 says:

    no way to the prudential center

    that way the city of newark (which is poor enough as it is) would have to fund it

    not worth the money

    move on

    1. Guest says:

      are you sure your name isn’t @55h01e?

  30. Guy from New Jersey says:

    Whitney was also broke, destitute. And depended on Clive Davis to keep her two homes in New Jersey and Atlanta out of foreclosure. How do you go thru a $100 million fortune and wind up with nothing?

    1. Guest says:

      The same thing was said about Michael Jackson when HE died.
      When a celebrity says they’re “broke”, it means that they’re down to their last ten million.
      Find another stone to throw from that glass house you live in..

      1. all broke says:

        She was broke she never wrote any of her songs so in her death she gets no royalties.Dolly Parton is making millions and so will Clive and Sony.Doubt she had 10 million when she made 5 mill in last 12 years.She has been getting advances last 2 years .It is sad her family is one reason she went broke besides her drugs all the cars and houses she bought them.Her daughter has to be worried because she depended on her mom being there and supporting her but money train is dried up .

  31. tom says:

    celebrating a drug addict why???

    1. the clarkster says:

      cause she has a hell of a voice that is wh!

    2. Jo-Ann says:

      Tom:

      I pray that you never have to feel the hurt that her family and friends are feeling. It dosen’t matter if she was a drug addict or not. She still had people who loved and cared for her. I’m sure you have a family member that have done things you’re not so proud of but love them just the same. NOONE is perfect. NOT EVEN YOU!!! You have no idea what caused her to do the things that she did. People just don’t wake up and say hey drugs look like fun. They use drugs to drown some type of pain that they are unable to deal with. Don’t be so fast to throw someone away. You may not be a drug addict but you’re no saint. That’s made obvious in your lack of compassion through your response. God help you sir.

      1. Scott says:

        @ Jo-Ann . What a perfect response to Tom’s ignorance.

      2. tom says:

        bottom line she did it ti her self

    3. RENEE SZABLEWSKI says:

      WHO IS WITHOUT SIN MAY CAST THE FIRST STONE!!! THERE WAS ONE PERSON WHO WALKED ON WATER,IT WASNT YOU AND IT WASNT I.DO NOT THROW STONES AT GLASS HOUSES,IT IS NOT OUR PLACE TO JUDGE WHITNEY OR ANYONE ELSE FOR THAT MATTER.THE LORD WILL JUDE YOU JUST AS HARSH AS YOU JUDGE OTHERS.THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER WHITNEY AS SHE NOW SINGS TO OUR LORD WITH THE CHOIR OF ANGELS.MAY WHITNEY HAVE PEACE AS SHE RESTS IN THE ARMS OF OUR LORD!!

      1. Steven says:

        So Renee, where those bowing their heads in prayer at the Grammy’s, praying to the one who walked on water the same that were applauding minaj’s trashing of their god. I wonder when Keith Richards drops dead, will there be an outpouring like this or will everyone say, “He was just a drug addict”,

        1. RENEE SZABLEWSKI says:

          TO THOSE WHO ARE HEARTLESS AND QUICK AT JUDGING OTHERS,LOOK IN YOUR OWN MIRROR!!!!! ALSO PUT YOUR FIRST AND LAST NAME OUT THERE AND STOP BEING A COWARD HIDING BEHIND A SMOKE SCREEN NAME.

          1. Steven says:

            why, so a psycho like yourself can have my information. And I bet that is your real name. Go pray to your god and shut up.

            1. RENEE SZABLEWSKI says:

              YES,ITS MY REAL NAME!!! COWARDS HIDE BEHIND FAKE SMOKE SCREEN NAMES AND SAY HEARTLESS THINGS.GOD BELONGS TO ALL OF US NOT JUST ME,DONT BE IGNORANT!!USING THE PHRASE SHUT UP,ARE YOU IN BULLY MODE????

    4. BR says:

      how do we know if you tom are not hiding behind your own drug addiction looking for someone else to blame it on!! Besides what about other stars who have lost there life to drugs and left a note saying that they were committing suicide . And most important prescription drugs were found , but I suppose tom is so straight edge he doesn’t even take an aspirin!

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