Southern Gospel's Crabb Family to Part Ways

After 15 years of performing together, the Crabb Family will be splitting up on Aug. 1, each heading to their own individual ministries.

While it is bittersweet for the family fivesome, the popular Southern Gospel band felt it was time to go separately into what God is calling them to do, and they were thankful for the time that they have had together.

The vocalists formally signified their split a few weeks ago, holding a three-night "Crabb Family Explosion" in Cleveland, Tenn.

"It (the Crabb Family Explosion) was a great celebration in the ministry of the Crabb Family," said Jason Crabb, the oldest in the bunch, in a statement. "It was bittersweet, exciting for what is to come, and sad for what we're leaving behind."

The Crabb Family has become one of the mainstays in the Southern Gospel scene, but has been known to perform a number of genres. This was clear from their last album, Blur the Lines.

"We were blown away by the Crabb Family's first appearance at the GMA Dove Awards in 2003," explained John Styll, president of the Gospel Music Association, who attended the Crabb Family Explosion, according to the Christian music news site CMSpin. "Since then, they have been pushing genre boundaries and exposing Southern Gospel to new audiences. While we're sad to see this season as a group come to an end, God clearly has plans for them as individuals and we wish them all the best."

The singers – comprised of eldest brother Jason Crabb, twin brothers Adam and Aaron Crabb, and sisters Kelly Bowling and Terah Penhollow – have seen their share of success in their years together. They have taken home a Dove Award, been nominated for a Grammy, and garnered 16 No. 1 songs, as well as a number of other accolades.

For those that are upset by their departure, the group is still planning a final release, Letting Go, which is planned to hit stores Sept. 11. It features 12 new songs – 10 written by the Crabb Family themselves – which highlight each member's personal style.

The group members have expressed that they are happy with the finished product.

"This is by far my favorite Crabb Family album because it involved the band and the group," described Jason in a statement. "We wrote it, we played it, and it is a true representation of the Crabb Family today!"

The first single off the album, "Child of the King," should be released to Southern Gospel radio waves sometime in late summer.