NEWARK, NJ (CBSNewYork) — A  bouquet of flowers and a sympathy card greeted worshipers as they arrived  at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark Sunday – the church Whitney Houston called home as a child.

“A lot of people when they pass, I send my condolences. I feel for them, but this particular person touched my soul. Not even my heart, touched my soul,” said congregation member Michelle Richardson told CBS 2’s Mark Morgan.

“The family shared Whitney with the world, but Whitney was a mother, a daughter, a sister, and that’s the focus we want to keep in front of everyone today,” said Pastor Joe Carter.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reports

Morgan spoke with several members of Houston’s home church who have vivid memories of a young Whitney singing.

“I can see her coming from the choir stand as a little girl, coming down to the microphone with this big booming voice from this little, little, girl,” said Barbara Pulliam, church deacon.

“She could sing like an angel. She had a voice no one else could have. No one could buy that kind of voice. God gave her that voice,” said congregation member Madelyn Davis.

After growing up in East Orange, Houston rocketed to fame, and had a school named in her honor in the city. To members of this church she remained a hometown girl.

“To everybody else, she was this big celebrity, but to us, she was Newark. To us she was new hope,” said congregation member Abdul Taylor.

Houston’s new hope family will seek strength as it grieves the loss of one of it’s own.

How will you remember Whitney Houston? You may comment below…

Comments (25)
  1. Alcourts says:

    There are some people who believe that they are law abiding citizens and they are fair people. Yet, they are quick to deny a group or individual the right to express their belief. The Constitution gives everyone the right of expression and freedom of religion. We believe that our message comes from God. Those who deny us this right will have to answer to God in this world and on the Judgment Day and they might have to deal with a lawsuit because our attorneys are looking at the responses when people deny us the right to present our belief.

    Whitney Houston presents in her life that she was a child of God, yet people who serve God in the Bible never spent their time entertaining the people of the world. They spent their time defending God’s Word because the devil is trying to destroy the truth of God by setting up people in false religions who are saying they are the people of God. All we want to do is to give people an opportunity to see things in a spiritual way.

    Check out our website

  2. A Fan says:

    wow such childishness. but i can expect nothing less,this is the internet where ppl are not held accountable for the things they say. RIP Whit

  3. Charlie Sheen's Crack Pipe TV Special says:


  4. Lesia says:

    Memory of my sister in christ cause we only have one father. Our Lord who died and rose for all our sin. Our trails and tribulation, I know he was with her , had the angels of heaven all around her the day he call her home. She is at peace, resting in Jesus arms. Martin Luther king said free at last, thank God almight she’s free at last . Home where no more pain, beening talked about. No worries about this old world. Beening a beautiful angel in heaven watching over her mom who with Jesus help gave her life. Her daughter who gave her joy the day she was born. I know she watching over bobby , her ex too. Angel who’s gone guild and lead us to Heaven when it’s our time to answer.

  5. Meme Meyagi says:

    News of Whitney Houston’s death travelled with such speed. When I heard I couldn’t help but crack with emotion. She was a real heroin. It’s such a blow. She made a real hash of things though. Her life just went to pot. Someone should have kept tabs on her

  6. The Ricky Leigh Family says:

    I feel very guilty about the death of Ms Houston. I just wish I could have helped her. She did not know it, but I loved her. She always made me happy, whenever I heard her sing. I did not know her personally, but I sure did love her. We failed her so bad, we should have been there to help her get through her rough times, she was always there to entertain us, I sincerely appreciated her so much. My family, we are so sorry about this sad news, and pray you will let God take care of you through all of your heart aches. We love you. The Ricky Leigh Family, Hernando, Mississippi

  7. Wendy says:

    Not very many artist would I rush out and buy a CD, but Whitney was one of a kind. She has always and will be my favorite. I enjoy all of her songs. Her songs had meaning and soothe the soul. There will never be another like this amazingly talented individual. My heart goes out to her nother and daughter. We love and mourn for her, but GOD loved her best! He went to the garden and plucked the most beautiful flower. Blessed be the name of our Lord!

  8. BOOGER says:

    Will AL Sharpton be the officiating Preacher for her funeral

  9. Orion says:

    Drugs, Booze and a Bubble Bath.

    Mar_4:19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
    1Co_4:13 Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.
    Jer_7:24 But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.
    Luk_12:47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

  10. Victor Goring says:

    I shall always love you,RIP Darling,Thanks for the happy times you brought me through your music.I played your songs all day Sunday.My deepest condolences to the Houston family.God bless you.

  11. Percy says:

    I am not from New Jersey, because the Person we are commenting on belonged to the world. I beg the world not to blame anyone for her death, not herself, not her ex-husband and not drugs. Life is a fight, and let us all be thankfull that she managed to fight on until she was 48. Indeed as a young girl she depended on the gifts of the Holy Spirit to give her weapons to fight all her demons. Then she was introduced to the way the world fight these demons. With the Holy Spirit the strength came from within her, but with the ways of the world, the strength came from drugs. Now let us all learn a lesson, with drugs, the weapons are temporary, one is required to keep on taking them. With the Conforter that Jesus left for us, the weapons are forever. She had her choice to choose, and no force was used. Let us all celebrate her life with ONLY joy. You made it girl, you lived, you did not just exist. The world loves you and will keep doing so. May God have mercy on your soul. Rest in peace.

  12. La Dumaguetena says:

    The world is harsh to her. She wasn’t able to cope with the cruelty of the world. From a simple gospel singer to a much idolized superstar, a diva. She lost her self -esteem when her husband pull her down.She was unloved by Bobby Brown, who married her in order to ride with her stardom.Rest in peace Whitney, your songs will be immortalized.

  13. Percy says:

    She was a mega star to the world, on the other side she was just and ordinary human being like the rest of us. She had her demons, her fears, she could heart as much as she could be happy. Life is full of ups and downs for everyone, whether you are rich or poor. All I can say to everyone, including her daughter is rember her in happy way, let her memories bring happiness to everyone. She made her mark, she did what she could do best and now… she has completed her journey. It does not matter how!!!! For everyone will complete her/his jorney in a different way. There should be more praises than blames here. Now everyone should try to learn from her, both good and bad things, so that she can continue to bring some difference in people’s lives. May her soul rest in peace.

  14. MASAMASAI says:






  17. April Jones says:

    This was a shock to hear about Whitney Houston’s death. I like all her songs. she was a great and wonderful singer.

    1. I lost pool says:

      Where have you been she was killing herself for years in my office pool I had her dead 5 years ago.Billy in hardware wins this pool.Next pool we have is Jennifer Hudson I think she is a couple bigmacs away from heart attack.Go back on weight watchers.

  18. Steve says:

    I loved her, I noticed the negative change in her when she met ass hole BOY Bobby!!!!!

    1. Whitney who says:

      And do not forget bad influence of Dionne Warwick another junkie in the family .It was not all Bobby Brown.She was a star back in the day but a has been the last 8 to 10 years.

  19. Sharon says:

    I saw the video of Whitney’s last performance at Tru Hollywood. She sang “Jesus Loves Me”, He must have heard her because He called her home. The world will miss your awesome voice Miss Diva Whitney. I know that you’re performing for our Father up in Heaven. My prayers for the family, and your daughter Bobbi Christina. God Bless

    1. Sad says:

      She could barely walk the night before she died she look high then.So sad when someone throws life away no excuse and no free pass.She was no role model and not someone kids should look up to.

    2. Dana says:

      Yes, the lord did call her home. Only he knows how much suffering one can endure in this life. “Thou shall not judge”
      Peace and love.

      1. She not suffer says:

        Suffering She was beyond rich and had anything she wanted forgive me if I do not feel sorry for this crack hoe.There are unemployed people suffering there are people losing homes suffering there are people hungry suffering.She was not suffering she was just a loser who cared about noone but herself thats why her daughter tried to stab her in 2008.You know she was messed up because her family had drug problem right miss Dionne

  20. Jduzit Tha Artist says:

    R.I.P. Whitney Houston! You will never be forgotten and will reign in my heart as the GREATEST LOVE “SONG BIRD” OF ALL!!!

    My deepest condolences go out to your daughter and family!

    I was always a TRUE FAN!!!

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