FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas-based mega church Bishop T.D. Jakes offered words of comfort to the hundreds of attendees who filled the pews in the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, N.J. Saturday for legendary pop singer Whitney Houston’s funeral.
After leading the crowd in a unison chant of “Amen,” Jakes began his speech with a message targeted at those who knew Houston’s true character.
“I want to convey and take just a moment; I realize the dichotomy that the family faces at this time, surrounded by a world full of friends, admirers who were enthralled by the beautiful Whitney Houston: Her voice, her song, her poise, her class; but that is not what brings you here,” he said.
“Because you knew who she was, not just what she did. She paid a tremendous price in life. We shared her with the world and we want to take a moment and say thank you.”
He touched on the impact of death itself, referencing the Biblical stories of Cain and Abel and Noah’s Ark.
“It looked like death had won,” he continued.
Death is certain, he said, but love is stronger than death: He then spoke of Jesus’s death, saying it once again appeared the demise had won. Death threw a party that lasted all weekend, he said with his voice building, prompting applause and hollers from the church who knew what came next.
There was a catch that death didn’t see coming, he said.
“Early Sunday morning, love rolled up his sleeves and said, ‘Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute,’ snatched death and took the sting out of death and the victory out the grave,” he said. “I want you to understand in a very practical and pragmatic way that death has not won.”
Watch Houston’s entire funeral at our sister station CBS New York, including T.D. Jakes’s speech. It’ll be streaming until Sunday at noon.