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The world was “brought to church” at Houston’s funeral

The world was “brought to church” at Houston’s funeral

Stephen Prothero watched Whitney Houston’s funeral on television and reflects how this service allowed America to witness the black church and its influence on our culture.

…Saturday at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey, where as a girl she sang in the choir, she gave us a church service — a chance for people of all races to see what church looks like inside the community that gave Houston (and us) her voice.

“There are more stars here than the Grammys,” said Houston’s music director, Rickey Minor, and the service did feature pop star Stevie Wonder and music mogul Clive Davis, among others. But so much of popular music started in the black church, and today the black church talked back.

In other words, this was an unapologetically Christian service, replete with references to salvation and “amazing grace,” where even the pop stars were transformed into gospel singers. People crossed themselves. They raised their hands to heaven. And the congregation kept shouting back: “Yes!” and “That’s it!” and “Praise the Lord!”

Tyler Perry testified that “Whitney Houston loved the Lord.” Cece Winans sang “Jesus Loves Me.” And when R. Kelly sang “I Look to You,” he wasn’t just accompanied by the choir behind him but by a chorus of “amens” from the congregation.

Marvin Winans, a gospel singer and the founding pastor of The Perfecting Church in Detroit, thanked Whitney’s mother Cissy Houston for deciding to hold the service at New Hope. “You brought the world to church today,” he said. And so she did.

It is often said that Sunday morning at 11 is the most segregated hour in American life. So many Christians who attend church all their lives never see what millions saw earlier today on television. They don’t know what a black church choir sounds like. And they have never heard a preacher like Winans, who delivered the eulogy.

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tgflux

In other words, this was an unapologetically Christian service

To be concerned w/ the Separation of Church and State, this is PRECISELY how it should be: where Christian churches can be unapologetically Christian, and the Government (“State”) domain can be—whatever the faiths/non-faiths of the persons in it—unapologetically secular.

RIP, Whitney. Sweet Jesus comfort all who loved you.

JC Fisher

Kalvin Jefferson

As an African -American of Jamaican descent who is an Anglican i must say it is a beautiful view of a community that to often you see in a negative light with crime and gangster rap.I hope that Christians of all races can gather in the different denominations and worship christ together.There is no Jew nor Greek,Nor bond or free,or male or female,all are one in the body of Christ!

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