Bobbi Kristina Brown's Intimate Memorial Service Focuses on Family, Music and Spirituality
By Meredith B. Kile
A memorial service held on Saturday for Bobbi Kristina Brown focused on spirituality, family and, of course, music. ET has details from inside the service, held at the St. James United Methodist Church in Alpharetta, Georgia, which included loving tributes from Bobbi Kristina’s family.
Many of Bobbi Kristina’s relatives spoke at the service, attended by about 250 to 300 guests, including her uncle Tommy Brown and aunt Pat Houston, who sat near father Bobby Brown. Bobbi Kristina’s two best friends also took the podium together to give an emotional tribute to their friend.
Bobbi Kristina’s grandmother, gospel singer Cissy Houston, performed "The Lord Is My Shepherd" during the service, bringing the crowd to their feet. Other performances included singer Monica’s rendition of "I Love the Lord" and gospel star CeCe Winans singing "His Strength Is Perfect." The ceremony ended on a emotional note honoring the late Whitney Houston, as the singer’s version of "Jesus Loves Me" was played during the recessional.
The program for the memorial service included a loving tribute from Bobbi Kristina’s father, Bobby Brown, who stood at the end of the service with his hand resting on the closed casket, which was draped in pink, white and red flowers. A full page in the program features a smiling picture of Bobbi Kristina, with the caption "I also will always love you. Love, Daddy," a reference to Houston’s popular song.
Filmmaker Tyler Perry received special thanks in the program. A friend of the family, he helped plan the memorial and has been involved since the beginning of Bobbi Kristina’s hospitalization.
Perry even helped navigate some family drama during the ceremony, removing Bobbi Kristina’s aunt Leolah Brown after she interrupted Pat Houston’s planned remarks. Despite the outburst, the Brown and Houston families seemed to get along during the service, with lots of hugs between family members, though the families did exit the church via separate aisles.
Perry also spoke during the ceremony, telling the crowd that he felt it necessary to look after Bobbi Kristina after her mother’s death in February 2012. Rev. Dr. Toni Luck remarked on how thankful everyone was for Perry and his support. Luck also spoke about baptizing Bobbi Kristina in the River Jordan.
Despite writing an impassioned email to members of both families, Bobbi Kristina's ex Nick Gordon did not attend Saturday's service.
"I loved Krissi with all my heart and I am destroyed that she is gone and I need to say goodbye,” Gordon wrote in a message to Pat Houston and Bobby Brown. "Krissi loved me very much and she would want me there."
The only child of Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown died at age 22 on July 26. She will be buried next to her mother in New Jersey on Monday.