NASHVILLE, Tenn. (KT) — Kentucky native Kathy Crabb Hannah has been in various “seasons” of ministry throughout her lifetime and finds herself in another field of harvest during the current coronavirus pandemic.
Hannah, a Beaver Dam native, and former husband Gerald Crabb, who formed the Crabb Family toured the Southern Gospel music circuit for 25 years. The group featured the couple’s five children, including Grammy-award winning soloist Jason Crabb. Hannah’s latest venture has been scheduling women’s conferences across the country, which she calls “Stronger.”
In the midst of a pandemic, Hannah has been making sure no one is without food, no matter the location. Behind her base of private Facebook members, Hannah and her “Stronger” group have formed the “Delivery Army” and they have been taking marching orders from those in need. Hannah said she stays in touch with an average of 70,000 to 80,000 people to communicate requests across the country.
“Everything has a season,” Hannah said. “Ministry isn’t always just the same thing all of the time. You certainly know that if you’re on the mission field.”
Once the pandemic tightened its grip on the nation nearly eight weeks ago, it left Hannah’s children without work “in a day” and she became concerned about their well-being amid the crisis.
“In one day, I had an entire family (that was without work) and I was like, ‘Lord, what in the world? What is this?’” she recalled. “I was in Florida in quarantine there and I said, ‘Lord, what can I do to please you during this season?’ My heart was broken and I was worried about our country, worried about my family and my friends and neighbors.”
The answer, Hannah said, was an instruction from God.
“The Lord spoke to me just as clear as He could and He said, ‘You take care of others and I will take care of yours,’” she said. “I wasn’t sure what that meant (at the time) but we’re going to find out.”
In response, Hannah did a Facebook post and asked, “Is everybody OK out there?” and emphasized it wasn’t the time to be “prideful, put on the selfie smile, and pretend.”
As she found out, all was not well and realized “the struggle is real for many” and she’s been on a mission for the past two and a half weeks to make sure those who are without food are fed. She has coordinated the effort and her army has stepped up to meet the challenge.
“We have had $20,000 to $30,000 worth of food delivered to strangers,” she said. “I’ve had a lot of help and I’ve had folks that have given us resources financially and most of those deliveries have been done by a volunteer."
As the pandemic began to shut down the nation in March, Hannah was “frustrated because there was nothing I could do” as the outbreak took root in Nashville. She then “felt hopeless because I really couldn’t help anybody” but then her vision began to take shape.
“I realized that everybody can help somebody,” she said. “We have phones, we have social media, we have texting, we’ve got the ability to move money around with Pay Pal and we can have groceries delivered. There are many things we can do. Everybody can do something and when we, the church, start to put common-sense solutions to work for our brothers and sisters, the problem is eradicated. We can do everything for each other that we need if we all just do that.”
Hannah has been “shocked” at the response since her mission has received.
“I can find the delivery people and it’s just a matter of getting an army together, figuring out their roles, strapping on their work clothes, and doing it,” she said. “I have been shocked at the number of small business people who have spent their last dollar to keep their business from going under and to keep their rent paid, small businesses … they don’t have a big staff or a big payroll. They have plummeted right now and they are literally squashed. Those people are most of the working poor at the moment.”
Hannah is glad her core group has been able to meet the needs of many of those small businesses forced to close because of the pandemic.
“We are the church, even though we aren’t assembling in a building, we are still the church,” she said. “We, as Christians, have been deployed to be the church at this particular time. I tell my children and my friends daily that this is a test and we want to pass it. We want to pass this test.”
Hannah said she has a form on her website kathycrabbhannah.com for people to sign up if they want to deliver groceries.
She got her start 25 years ago in Philpot when a small Southern gospel festival started. It featured her then husband, Gerald Crabb, and their five children and they became known as the Crabb Family. They grew in popularity and held the annual Kentucky CrabbFest in Owensboro, which brought 12,000 to 15,000 to town from 2001 to 2006.
The family music group disbanded after that and members started different groups.
Keith Taylor is sports editor for Kentucky Today. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter @keithtaylor21