Funeral will celebrate Houston's 'godly gift'
Whitney Houston's funeral will celebrate the "God-given gift" of her voice, says Pastor Joe Carter.
The late singer's memorial service will take place at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey, this Saturday.
Pastor Joe Carter will lead the private service and remembers the star from her childhood days when she honed her voice at the church.
"She was able to leave us with so many wonderful memories of that God-given gift," he told CNN. "That's what we are celebrating on Saturday."
Gospel singer Marvin Winans will deliver the eulogy at the request of Whitney's mother Cissy Houston.
Marvin officiated at Whitney's 1992 wedding to Bobby Brown and his sister CeCe Winans previously performed a duet with the singer.
"All these empty pews [are expected] to be filled with people whose hearts are broken," Pastor Carter added.
Meanwhile, State Senate Republicans of New York City have denied a request to remember the tragic soul diva.
The Senate GOP made the decision because they felt uncomfortable honouring a public figure who may have died of drug-related causes.
However, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has revealed that flags will fly at half-staff at government buildings all day Saturday in Whitney's home state.
Glee has also paid tribute to Whitney.
The US television show dedicated a Valentine's Day episode to the music legend.
Amber Riley performed I Will Always Love You during the show, which was recorded before the singer's death.
Producers added a final title card at the end credits that read "Whitney Houston 1963-2012. We will always love you."
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