HAMLET — Doors opened at 5:45 p.m. Thursday, June 6 at King’s Gate Church allowing VIP ticket holders early entrance to meet Christian musician Jason Crabb.
The line of people grew quickly as they anticipated their special moment with Crabb. When doors opened, all VIP attendees entered into a special room set aside for the meet-and-greet.
The down-to-earth Crabb interacted with the crowd jokingly and answered questions for around 45 minutes. He also took time to personally pray for a few who asked for special prayer.
Crabb is married and has two girls. At one point, he mentioned how he was proud of his daughter Emma who had just played and won a basketball game the night before. He wasn’t only proud of the win, but mostly proud of the way he saw her encouraging other team members.
Aside from serving God, Crabb said his favorite things in life were his family and being with his daughters at ball games.
“My bucket list consists of being a coach one day and spending more time with my family,” he said. “I don’t see that happening anytime soon because my time is non-stop on the road. I do try to make family time though.”
Crabb said his prayer for the concert “is that everyone will put everything to the side— all fears, worries, and concerns — and focus on worshipping God.”
The opening group was 2nd Chance Ministries, a Florence, South Carolina-based trio featuring Todd Amerson, Ricky Malloy and Brandon Gainey.
Gospel trio 2nd Chance Ministries opens for Jason Crabb.
The group was formed six years ago, and Richmond County resident Randy Stubbs is their booking agent. Stubbs also handles the group’s social media as well as helping with sound during concerts from time to time. Stubbs said
“Todd asked me to help six years ago when the group first started, and I’ve been helping since,” Stubbs said.
One could see the crowd’s sense of enjoyment through the clapping and lifting of hands as 2nd Chance Ministries performed.
Next to the stage was pastor, musician and comedian Mickey Bell from Birmingham, Alabama. Bell was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2017. He is the founding and senior pastor of Grace Church Bessemer.
“I was named the class clown back in high school, I just get paid to do it now,” Bell said about his interest in comedy. “My wife Wendy wanted to marry a cowboy who rode bulls, but she ended up with the rodeo clown who shoots the bull!”
Christian comedian Mickey Bell warms up the audience with laughter.
There was a time in Bell’s life when laughter was nowhere to be found.
ln his book, “I Am David; A Pastor’s Fall Into Grace,” Bell mentions a choice he made that caused him and his family much heartache and pain followed by many dark days of depression. The book also tells of how he miraculously overcame.
During his dark days, he said he prayed to God: “If you will give me back my laughter, I will use it to make others laugh.” Bell said God faithfully answered his prayer.
Throughout the book, he bears his life to the world in hopes that others will also find help. Bell and his family travel worldwide for the cause of Christ. For more information on Bell, including his testimony, visit his website.
Following Bell’s act, Crabb stepped onto the stage.
The 42-year-old, two-time Grammy Award-winning singer started his career in 1996 as lead volcalist with his family’s gospel group, The Crabb Family.
When the family retired as a group in 2007, Crabb began his solo career. His debut album was released in June 2009 and went on to win a 2010 Grammy for Best Southern, Country, or Bluegrass Gospel Album. Crabb was again nominated for — and won — Best Roots Gospel Album for “Unexpected” in February 2019.
He has worked with The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir as soloist and many other well-known artists. He has also won 21 Dove Awards as well as being nominated for numerous other awards. Crabb was inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame in 2018.
Attendees stood to their feet several times during the concert with lifted hands as they joined in worship with Crabb. During the song “You Chose to Be My Friend,” some went to the altar, and Crabb took time to pray with folks as they came forward.
“I’m not taking credit for anything; for every good gift is from God,” he said. “I am an ambassador for the cause of Jesus Christ.”
Crabb also spoke on his recent mission’s trip and how poorly some have to live in other parts of the world. At one point he spoke on the great need to sponsor children. He shared his story of how he wanted to help and had numerous pamphlets of different children to allow anyone else who may also want to help.
“The children truly enjoy receiving letters from their sponsors; it makes them feel special and gives them hope,” he said. “We should thank God for being such a blessed people.”
As the night ended, Crabb mentioned how he especially enjoyed the latter part of the night with the strong sense of God in the service.
For more information on any of the artists, visit their websites: 2ndcm.net; themickeybell.com; and jasoncrabb.com.