Feb 18, 2012 10:23 AM EST By EnStarz Staff Writer

Whitney Houston's Body Arrives at Newark Church for Funeral Service

Whitney Houston's body arrives at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey this morning, for the legendary singer's private funeral.

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New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey where Whitney Houston started to sing.
Photo Credit New Hope Baptist Church Handou

Whitney Houston's body arrived at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey, this morning for the legendary singer's private funeral.

Her body was transported in a gold hearse from Whigham Funeral Home to the singer's hometown church. It is reportedly being held in a platinum coffin with gold handles, according to Sky News.

Houston's family friend, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, and trucks loaded with flowers were seen arriving at the church earlier, reports the New Jersey Star Ledger.

"There is a heaviness of heart. We've lost a lot, yet we rejoice,” Jackson said, according to the paper. "We have no idea the depths of her pain. What we mostly knew about her is she sang so beautifully ... This is a day of mercy, this is a day of celebration, this is a day of rejoicing."

There is heavy police presence at the scene.

Houston's godmother, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys and Dionne Warwick, Houston's cousin, are expected to perform at the event.

Kevin Costner, Houston's co-star in The Bodyguard, Tyler Perry and her mentor Clive Davis are among those scheduled to speak.

The funeral begins at noon EST and will be broadcast live online. Click Here to Watch the Official Live Broadcast.

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