Whitney Houston remembered at church services; vigil planned
Los Angeles area fans of Whitney Houston on Sunday mourned her death at church services and prepared to honor her memory with a candlelight vigil Monday night in Leimert Park.
Worshipers at the First A.M.E. Church of Los Angeles held a special moment of silence in honor of Houston at their 10 a.m. service. Their pastor John J. Hunter described Houston as “one of the most dynamic voices of our time,” according to an announcement on the church website. “We are all deeply saddened by her passing and our hearts go out to her family,” he said.
An outdoor candlelight memorial and public gathering is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. Monday in Leimert Park and will continue for at least two hours, according to community organizer Najee Ali. Fans will be able to express their grief and their admiration of Houston’s talents while Houston’s recordings play throughout the evening, he added.
“It will be a chance to come together and to comfort one another,” Ali said.
The event is to be held at the small park by the intersection of Crenshaw Boulevard and Vernon Avenue at the center of the African American arts and shopping district.
He said he hoped that other music industry stars will participate but that their attendance has been difficult to confirm because of Grammy Awards obligations this weekend.
Houston "had the complete package of not only acting but a voice that seemed to be heaven-sent," Ali said.
-- Larry Gordon
Photo: Recording artist Whitney Houston performs at the 2004 World Music Awards in Las Vegas. Credit: Eric Jamison / Associated Press