What a night at Free Chapel in Gainesville, Georgia! Pastor Jentezen Franklin opened the doors to the Worship Center welcoming the Grammy winning, reigning GMA Dove Male Vocalist and Artist of the Year, Jason Crabb. This wasn’t an ordinary concert, but a special night of celebration of the highly anticipated release of LOVE IS STRONGER. Jason was joined by family, friends, special guests and a house packed with enthusiastic fans eager to sample the new music. This new music is geared up to reach all ages, genres and the world with the love of Christ.
Following a warm introduction, Jason claimed the stage in style- all dressed up in a hot pink jacket! He opened the night with the first track off the album, “Give.” Judging by the crowd’s response, it was obvious from the first few lines of the song that Jason’s new music was going to be received well.
The crowd listened intently as Jason sang “I’m a mess today cause yesterday I followed the desires of my foolish heart into the dark…Feeling far away, need a couple days to work real hard to hit the mark to get myself back in good with you. What a waste, what a losing game cause…..” After the pause, Jason broke into the chorus… “That’s What The Blood Is For,” and the crowd broke out into applause, many rising to their feet. “What The Blood Is For,” written by Ronnie Freeman and Tony Woods, is Crabb’s first single to Southern Gospel radio.
Sprinkled throughout the night were video messages of congratulations from Barbara Mandrell, Larry Gatlin, Kari Jobe and also Bill Gaither. All were personal and meant to be treasured by Crabb, but Bill Gaither’s words were profound: “…You’re changing the world,” Gaither commented.
Finding it hard to find the right words to express gratefulness, Jason welcomed Wayne Haun and Jay DeMarcus to the stage to discuss2462MEDIA$IMAG0160 the production of the album. Everyone laughed as Jason admitted to how nervous he was during the project’s beginning stages. Both Haun and DeMarcus had encouraging words for Crabb and expressed high hopes of the record crossing over into the mainstream market. “It’s time we let the world in on our little secret,” DeMarcus said. The crowd clapped, cheered, and whistled in enthusiastic response!
Pastor Jentezen Franklin spoke similar words of encouragement for the album to go beyond the Christian market and prayed over Jason with boldness and great faith. Obviously humbled, Jason was grateful for the words of life spoken into his ministry.
Jason was also thankful that longtime friend, best-selling author, Andy Andrews made an appearance at this special occasion. As soon as Andrews won the crowd with humor, he deposited spiritual truths into their hearts.
In the course of the evening, Jason showcased the increasingly popular, “Let Mercy Hold You,” and introduced the song “Near.” Again, the crowd responded in heart-stirred worship standing on their feet with hands lifted high.
Garnering the most intense response from the audience was “Love Is Stronger.” Being true to his “real” and transparent character, Jason openly shared a personal experience regarding a recent incident with his wife’s health. He testified of God’s healing power, but also how their strong love got them through the trial. Jason then sang the lights out to the album’s title cut. Soaking in the unforgettable moment, Jason’s brother Adam was one of the first people to stand as Jason’s powerful voice rang out the powerful message. To say it was received well is an understatement. It seemed the whole crowd unanimously agreed that this is a song the whole world needs to hear.
Although there were many cameras rolling, more than likely a sweet moment wasn’t captured on tape, but it was precious indeed! Jason’s daughters kept themselves busy and entertained with their games on their tablets throughout the night. But, there was something special about Jason’s tender performance of “Satisfied” that caused them to lose all interest in their own quiet activities. The girls were literally captivated and drawn in by their dad’s singing in such a sweet way! As the song came to an end, their hands went up as if they were waiting for just one other person in the audience to start the applause. As soon as that happened, they clapped vigorously and let out a sweet yell- clearly identifying that song as their favorite- at least their favorite song of the night.
Before the night came to an end, Jason turned to the band asking for the key of “D” and then sang…”So many times I’ve questioned…” Needless to say, the whole crowd jumped up and joined Jason in singing on one of the greatest songs of our time, “Through The Fire,” penned by Jason’s father, Gerald Crabb. The moment was incredibly sweet as many people sang it from their hearts, testifying to the truth of the song’s powerful message. Jason then grabbed his guitar and followed up with another smash hit written by his dad, “Sometimes I Cry.” The crowd loved it!
The LOVE IS STRONGER CD Release celebration was an incredible night and the album itself promises to touch the hearts of many. Although the future looks incredibly bright for the album, Jason exposed his heart by ending with “I’d Rather Have Jesus.” Well- it almost ended there- Jason did delight Jentezen Franklin with his personal request, “I Saw The Light.” The crowd left blessed!
In the world of Southern Gospel Music, Jason Crabb is definitely not a little secret, but it is definitely time to share Jason Crabb with the rest of the world! It is exciting to see his ministry grow and to watch his music transcend genres. We’re praying for Jason’s new music to spill over into the mainstream reaching many with good news of Jesus Christ! If there’s ever been a time the world needs to know this message of love, it is now. The release date for LOVE IS STRONGER is March 12. Visit http://www.jasoncrabb.com/ for more information.
Stay tuned regarding Jason’s CD Release Celebration to be aired on TBN as well as other Christian television. Also, enjoy “Not I, But Christ In Me,” March’s cover story on Jason Crabb in SGNScoops Magazine. www.sgnscoops.com