Tyler Perry on Whitney: 'Say whatever you want, God was for her'
Tyler Perry spoke stirring words Saturday at the memorial service, the "home going" for Whitney Houston on Saturday in Newark, N.J., sharing the two things he said he knew about the singer who died a week ago at age 48: That she was carried by grace, and that she loved the Lord.
"There are two constants that I know about Whitney Houston," filmmaker Perry said to the congregation assembled at the New Hope Baptist Church. "There was a grace that carried, a grace that carried her down from heaven through Miss Cissy Houston, a grace that brought her up through singing.
"This same grace led her all the way to the top of the charts, sold all of these albums and just done some amazing things, won all these awards. She sang for presidents. And there was a grace that kept on carrying her, and that's one thing I know.
"The other thing I know, for sure," he added, "and this is more important than anything she's ever done in her life, Whitney Houston loved the Lord."
Continuing with a rapid, engaging voice, he described how in every conversation they'd had, he was aware of her faith. He then invoked the words of the apostle Paul to the Romans, saying, "I am persuaded that nothing shall separate me from the love of God.... If you look at what Paul said he was describing her life so perfectly....
"No matter how high she went in the stratosphere, nothing separated her ... 'neither height nor depth,' no matter how much struggle, no matter how much she had to go through, no matter what she had to walk through ..." he said, it wasn't enough to separate her from the love of God.
Paul said something else too, Perry noted: "'If God be for you, who can be against you?' So say whatever you want, God was for her, and she is resting, singing with the angels."
Photo: Tyler Perry at the premiere of his movie "Good Deeds" in L.A. on Feb. 14. Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images