WEB EXCLUSIVE: Whitney Houston Fans Continue to Flock to Newark Church

By David Cruz

It was two days after an international television audience of millions and hundreds of Newarkers turned out for Whitney Houston’s funeral at New Hope Baptist Church, and a steady stream of visitors stopped by the church today.

Some were just curious to see the shrine that had grown over the past few days, but others, having been kept away by police on Saturday, were there to pay their respects in the best way they knew how.

They remembered the young girl who sang in the choir here and who went on to international super-stardom, always representing the city of Newark, and, in turn, representing them.

“She was ours first,” said one man. “Way before the world took her into their hearts, we loved her.”

Today, as the worldwide media seemed prepared to turn its cameras to the next big news story, Newark felt very much like a small town, remembering a hometown girl who made good, and never forgot where she came from.