The Rev. Arthur T. Gerald Jr., senior pastor at Twelfth Baptist Church, couldn’t help but smile when he talked about Whitney Houston yesterday. Last January, Houston sang at the funeral of Bobby Brown’s mother, Carole Brown, in the Roxbury church. Houston’s performance of “Precious Lord’’ brought joy to everyone in earshot, Gerald told us. “She lit up the sanctuary,’’ he said. “She just lit the place up.’’ Gerald told us yesterday afternoon that Houston – who divorced Roxbury-bred Brown in 2007 – was discussed during his church’s morning service, and that people were asked to pray for Houston, who was found dead at the Beverly Hilton, in Beverly Hills, Calif., Saturday afternoon, and for Brown’s family, who are Twelfth Baptist members. He told us that because of Houston’s “potent voice’’ and her catalog of hits, she will never be forgotten. “The music doesn’t die,’’ he said.
Brown, who was on tour with Boston act New Edition, managed to perform during some of the group’s Saturday-night show in Mississippi, and said to the crowd, “I love you, Whitney. . . . The hardest thing for me to do is to come on this stage.’’ In a statement yesterday he said, “I appreciate all of the condolences that have been directed toward my family and I at this most difficult time.’’
Berklee College of Music professor Jetro da Silva, who was Houston’s keyboardist and guitar player during her 2010 world tour, is expected to talk about his friend at the “Give Up the Funk’’ concert tonight at the Berklee Performance Center.