What Impact Did Kathy and Gerald Crabb's Divorce Have on Their Family?

By Kate HalseLast Updated Apr 18, 2020 10:00:22 PM ET
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Photo Courtesy: Gospel Celebration Church/YouTube

Divorce is never easy, but it's even more challenging when you're in the public spotlight. This was the case for Gerald and Kathy Crabb, talented musicians who took their equally talented family to new levels with their affinity for gospel music.

Together, the duo, along with several of their children, became famous in the world of gospel music. After enjoying a decade of touring and musical success, the group decided to halt their touring following Gerald and Kathy's divorce.

How It All Began

The Crabb Family formed in rural Beaver Dam, Kentucky, and eventually became successful enough to perform in front of an annual concert audience of 800,000 people. Since starting their journey in 1995, the group recorded a number of hit singles and was named "best mixed group of 2000" by the Southern Gospel Music Association.

Photo Courtesy: [Midnight Believer/GoodFreePhotos]

The family continued their musical success by recording eight number-one hits. While Kathy accompanied her children on the keyboard and piano, she also acted as the group's manager. Gerald was named the Gospel Music Association's "Songwriter of the Year" for four years in a row and continued to sing even after the group disbanded.

The Crabb Family Divorce

Following the divorce of Gerald and Kathy in 2006, The Crabb Family never made an official statement about the split. Instead, each family member went in a separate direction to pursue different ministries. Although the decision was made to part ways in 2006, the group stayed together for a few final performances following several successful years on the road. The group took the stage one last time as a family band on August 1, 2007.

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Photo Courtesy: Lynn Griggs/YouTube

While The Crabb Family never made an official statement regarding the divorce, and a specific reason was never given, Kathy has briefly spoken about the challenging time in her life. Years later, Kathy referred to it as a "surprise" that occurred just before her 50th birthday, followed by an abrupt end of touring for the band. Despite finding herself struggling to start over at age 52, Kathy revealed in an interview with Pat Brannon that she became a realtor near Nashville in 2007 and remarried Steve Hannah. Gerald also remarried. As of 2015, he was married to Debi Jackson.

Life After Divorce

The group consisted of six of the seven Crabb children. Krystal, the oldest daughter, was the only member of the band who wasn't directly involved in touring or recording. Instead, she helped with the group's office management. The group included daughter Kelly Crabb Bowling on lead vocals and eldest son Jason Crabb, who pursued a solo vocal career after the group disbanded. Within a decade after her parents' divorce, daughter Terah Crabb Penhollow had also found success, becoming a Grammy-nominated singer and winning multiple Dove awards.

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Photo Courtesy: Dakota Lynch/YouTube

The Crabb children continued to pursue their own interests even after Gerald and Kathy retired from touring following the divorce. Both parents remained equally supportive and helpful in many ways, staying true to their desire to share the gospel with the world through music. Gerald continued to write songs, while Kathy used her business skills from the band's time on the road to keep the ministry stable. Despite the difficulties the family faced along the way, each member remains devoted to the ministry and willing to embrace future obstacles with open arms.

Despite the fallout at the end of the band’s successful decade-long run, The Crabb Family eventually returned to the stage. After several years apart, the band briefly reconciled in 2011 for a tour and made an album produced by lead singer, Jason Crabb, in 2012. After another break for a few years, The Crabb Family hit the road again for its Encore Tour in 2019.