News Column

Music for God

July 4, 2014

By Catherine Godbey, The Decatur Daily, Ala.

July 04--In all honesty, Jason Crabb didn't have a choice. As the son of a preacher, Crabb joined his siblings in taking on the roles of singers and musicians at a small church in Beaver Dam, Kentucky.

"Anything that had to be played or sang, we did it," the Grammy Award winner said.

A future in gospel music seemed inevitable for the five siblings -- and it was.

This year marks Jason Crabb's 20th year in the music industry. The 37-year-old entertainer served as the lead singer for The Crabb Family until 2007, when he began a solo career.

"God does some amazing things through the power of music, and I am grateful that he uses me in a small way to affect the lives of his children," Crabb said.

On Sunday, Crabb will perform at Family Baptist Church in Trinity. Tickets to the 7 p.m. concert cost $20 and are available at Lifeway in Decatur or by calling 256-584-0078. A free 30-minute fireworks show will follow the concert at 9 p.m., capping off Family Baptist's annual Freedom Sunday.

"This is the day to celebrate our freedoms as Christians and as Americans," said pastor Dennis Terry. "At the end of the day we are going to be a bunch of flag-waving, Hallelujah-shouting believers."

Freedom Sunday events will begin with a message from former University of Alabama football coach Gene Stallings at the 10 a.m. worship service. The church invited attendees to bring Alabama memorabilia for Stallings to sign.

"Every year I want to bring someone in that I think will really reach people in the community," Terry said. "I hope people leave with a renewed sense of patriotism and love for our country and God."

Terry expects a full sanctuary for the morning worship and evening concert, when Crabb will take the stage backed by keyboardist Blaine Johnson, drummer Michael Rowsey and bassist Lori Sikes. Expect a combination of country, soul, gospel and patriotic tunes.

To preview the performance, Crabb, a 21-time Dove Award winner, talked about his favorite worship songs, new album and most memorable moments.

Q-and-A with Crabb

How do your songs reflect where you are now as an artist?

My latest album and current single, "Love Is Stronger," is just one song that hits very close to home. My wife Shellye struggled with rheumatoid arthritis -- some days she could barely move -- and so that song really hit home to me. When we start picking songs for a project, it has to speak to me. All of these songs share something that is from my heart, something that I want to convey. Most of the songs talk about some aspect of love and God is love.

You have won numerous awards. What is it about your music that listeners respond to?

I think they can tell that I'm just like them. I go through battles and problems, too. Just because there's a mic in my hand or I strum a guitar or come up in a big red bus, I am no different. I have great days and I have bad days. I appreciate each and every person that walks through the door or listens to my music. That's why I stay after every concert until the last person leaves -- to let everyone know how much I love them. They can hear that in the music, too.

When did music go from being a hobby to being a career?

We never set out to be professional Christian singers, but when there is a call on your life, God will direct the steps and open the doors for you to walk through. Did I dream of singing one day? Sure, but God's dreams for my life were bigger than I could have ever imagined. Sometimes I sit in the bus and reflect on where I am and I just have to thank God for blessing me more than I could ever dreamed.

What have been some of your most memorable moments?

The awards are nice, of course, and I won't lie, it's nice to see that Grammy award and the Dove awards. But, what matters to me most is the personal stories I hear every single night and the stories people share with me on Facebook and Twitter. When people share that one song or one statement got them through the toughest time of their life, well, that's humbling to me. It encourages me, keeps me motivated and reminds me of the reason why God called me to do this.

What are you currently working on?

I am writing with different writers for a brand new album that we will start working on very soon. One thing I am very excited about is the Jase Crabb children's book series. It's been a dream of mine for a long time to write a children's book series and, with the help of some amazing people, it has become a reality. Children can read the book, color some activity pages and even graduate from Jase University.

If there was a natural disaster and you could save five albums, what would they be?

Michael W. Smith's "Place In This World," Amy Grant's "Straight Ahead," The Hinsons' "Call Me Gone, The Lighthouse," The Paynes' "Fire on Stage" and Mercy Me's "I Can Only Imagine."

If you were leading worship, what songs would you include?

"Agnus Dei" by Michael W. Smith, "How Great Is Our God" by Chris Tomlin and maybe a few hymns, just to mix it up a little bit.

Any favorite patriotic songs?

You've got to listen to Lee Greenwood sing "God Bless the USA," and I like Darryl Worley's "Have You Forgotten."

What is the last thing you do before you step on stage?

I say a little prayer and ask God to help us and anoint the evening and to make his message clear to those who need it.

Catherine Godbey can be reached at 256-340-2441 or Follow on Twitter @DecaturLiving.

If you go

What: Freedom Sunday

Where: Family Baptist Church, 24945 Alabama 24, Trinity

When: Sunday. 10 a.m. service with Gene Stallings; 7 p.m. concert with Jason Crabb; 9 p.m. fireworks.

Cost: The morning service and fireworks are free. The 7 p.m. concert costs $20. Tickets are available at Lifeway in Decatur or by calling 256-584-0078.


(c)2014 The Decatur Daily (Decatur, Ala.)

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Source: Decatur Daily (AL)

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