Granger Smith Is Leaving Country Music To Pursue Career In Ministry

The crooner is currently working towards a master's degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

After 24 years in the country music business, Granger Smith is embarking on a new chapter. 

The “Backroad Song” singer announced his decision to leave country music in order to pursue a new career in ministry on social media this week. 

Smith’s upcoming Like a River tour—named in honor of his 3-year-old son River who died following a tragic drowning accident in 2019—will serve as his farewell to the industry he’s been a part of since 1998. The Dallas native said he will turn his attention to his local church when the tour concludes in August.

Granger Smith

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"I have felt a strong desire to pursue ministry. This doesn't mean I'm going to start a church or a crusade... but this is a time of learning and growing for me," Smith explained in a video post

"I'm so hopeful about this future," he added. "Amber and I have been totally united on this. I know there are going to be a lot of questions and I'm going to try to stay engaged. I'm not going anywhere. I'm going to be here."

Smith, who is currently working towards a master's degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, elaborated on the decision in an exclusive interview with People, noting that he feels “excited” about the endeavor. 

"Being a musician was never a prison, but this is a new passion, a new focus, a new direction that I believe is going to allow me to focus more on individual people and their lives, which is ultimately why I started music touring in the very beginning," he explained. "This is an even more micro-focused position in that. I'm not going anywhere."

A lifelong Christian, Smith said that River's death brought him closer to his religion.

"As I was reading the Bible, I was coming across things with a new heart and eyes opened," he recalled to People. "During my healing, I was reading things like Mark 8:36, where Jesus said, 'If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it. But whoever loses his life for my sake, and the gospel, will save it.' Then he goes on to say, 'For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?'"

"I was sitting there looking at that through my broken healing," Smith continued. "And this was during COVID, and I wasn't touring, and I was reading this like, 'Where in country music am I modeling that for other people? Because all I'm doing as far as I see—and I'm not speaking to any other artist—is glorifying myself.' That's a contradiction that has built up within me over and over until I had to come to this conclusion that there's now a turning point, a new direction for my life."

Even though he’s saying goodbye to performing, "that does not mean I'm putting up the guitar," Smith told People.

"The guitars are a big part of our house, and singing and dancing and kitchen parties," he said. "That will never go away."

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