Prince's Sister Skips Jehova's Witness Memorial

| by John Freund
Kingdom Hall Jehova's Witness churchKingdom Hall Jehova's Witness church

A Jehova's Witness church in Minnetonka, Minnesota, was the site of a memorial service for recently-deceased pop singer Prince. 

The Daily Mail reports that the service, held at Kingdom Hall of Jehova's Witnesses, was a celeb-studded affair, attended by Sly and The Family Stone bassist and close friend Larry Graham, Sinbad the comedian, Spike Lee, Larry King, and others.  

Graham is credited with sharing his religious beliefs with Prince, who converted to the Jehova's Witness faith in 2003 and was an active member of the church, often going door-to-door himself to spread its gospel.

The church, which has a 500-person capacity, was filled completely, according to the Daily Mail. Traffic cones lined the streets and security was on hand to keep the media and fans away.  City spokeswoman Kari Spreeman announced prior to the event that police were preparing for up to 50 celebrity guests to attend, along with hundreds of others. 

One person not in attendance, however, was Prince's only surviving biological sibling, Tyka Nelson.  According to TMZ, Nelson wrote in a Facebook post that neither she nor the remains of her famous brother would be present at their -- or any -- memorial service.  

Nelson wrote:  "The grief process is a unique experience to each individual and therefore I support any and all memorials or funerals that have happened and/or are bring planned."  She went on to further explain her absence by writing, "I feel that once… is enough."  

The memorial service lasted 45 minutes and included lyrics from Prince's song "Beautiful, Loved, and Blessed."   The lyrics read:  "If I were ever to write down my life story, I could truly say with all the fame and glory, I was just a piece of clay in need of the potter's hand."  

Funeral attendee Richard Weiner told the New York Daily News that "it was a beautiful service. They talked about his faith, how he became a Jehova's Witness, and his actions after that were to glorify God in words and deed."  

Another attendee added, "I think Prince would have been moved by the service."  

Brother George Cook, one of the nine elders of the 90-person congregation at the church, told the Daily Mail that Prince was an active member of the church.  "He believed that the true God is Jehovah and he knew for example that when we die, we're dead, we're sleeping and the hope is the resurrection, that's why Jesus died."

Brother Cook went on to describe Prince as "modest" and "very, very humble" when he attended church services.  

The memorial comes just three weeks after Prince was found dead in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate April 21. He was 57 years old.  

Sources: Daily Mail, TMZ, New York Daily News / Photo credit: Chris Bott/Daily Mail

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