Cultural Conversations by Daniel Blackaby April 12, 2023
Country Singer Granger Smith Leaving Music to Pursue Church Ministry
Country music star Granger Smith is embarking on his “Like a River” Tour in honor of his three-year-old son River who tragically died in 2019. According to his social media pages, this tour will be his last. Smith—who is currently enrolled at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary—shared that he is quitting music to pursue Christian ministry.
In addition to the social media posts, Smith further explained his decision in an exclusive interview with PEOPLE:
“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.”
While Smith acknowledged that not everyone should quit their jobs or give up their artistic careers in order to pursue ministry, he feels that this is a necessary step for him:
“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.”
After the “Like a River” Tour ends in August, Smith plans to invest his time in serving his local church and completing his theological studies. He hosts a podcast and a radio show, and his memoir, Like a River: Finding Faith and Strength to Move Forward After Loss and Heartache, will be released later this year.
In his social media videos and his interview with PEOPLE, Smith emphasized the scripture Mark 8:36, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” While some fans of his music will understandably be disappointed with his surprising decision, Granger Smith is determined to pick up his own cross and follow Jesus, even if it means leaving behind a successful music career.