Date: 15th February 2012

Whitney funeral at childhood church

Whitney Houston's funeral will be held at the church where she first showcased her singing talents as a child.

Her family has chosen to remember the 48-year-old in a private service rather than in a large event at one of America's busiest entertainment arenas.

The owner of the Whigham Funeral Home in New Jersey said the funeral would be held at noon on Saturday at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, which seats up to 1,500. Gospel singer Marvin Winans had been chosen to give the eulogy, his son said.

The family said no public memorial service for Houston, who died at a Beverly Hills hotel on Saturday, was planned.

Officials had discussed the possibility of holding a memorial at the Prudential Centre, a major sports and entertainment venue in Newark that can seat about 18,000 people, but the funeral home said it had been ruled out.

Funeral home owner Carolyn Whigham said the church service would be by invitation only, reflecting the family's decision to keep the memorial more personal.

"They have shared her for 30-some years with the city, with the state, with the world. This is their time now for their farewell," she said. "The family thanks all the fans, the friends and the media, but this time is their private time."

Source: Press Release