Granger Smith to Pursue Ministry After Final Tour

The singer announced that he has been making music for over two decades.

Granger Smith is going down a new road.

On Tuesday, the country music superstar -- whose 3-year-old son, River, died in a drowning accident in 2019 -- announced that he is leaving the music business to pursue ministry. 

"This message is so difficult to post. The words for this caption are so hard to find. Not because I don’t believe in the truth of them, but because this marks the end of the longest era in my life! Touring…24 years of it," he wrote on Instagram. 

"This summer will be my last tour. I am so encouraged and hopeful and excited and joyful about the next chapter, but to a large extent, I have no idea what it will look like," he continued. "I just want to glorify God the best way that I can. I want to learn and grow and serve my local church and allow my pastors to equip and affirm those next steps. Lord willing, I want to be used to help people find their purpose."

Smith, 43, went into more detail about his decision to step away from music following the end of his Like a River tour, which kicks off in August and runs until Labor Day. The singer shared that he is currently pursuing his Masters in Theology and attending seminary at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and will focus on ministering at his local church. As of now, he has no plans to become a pastor.  

"That may explain to some of y'all why I have appeared so distant, especially to music lately," he said in the clip. Part of Smith's journey is releasing a book titled Like a River, which will document life after his son's accident.

"I have a book coming out, August 1, it's called Like a River," he told the camera. "It shouldn't surprise you what that book is about but it's about from when I lost my son, Riv, to when we had Mav and everything in between that the Lord did and the radical way of opening my eyes. That message is so important to tell, it's the most important piece of media that I could ever release, that I ever have released. And so it's going to take a lot of time for me to get out, and Lord willing, do some kind of book tour to talk about that, to get it in front of as many people to hear that message because it's become a life mission for me."

Smith said that he knows that people won't understand or care about his decision and that he made the choice based on his personal reflection.

"I can't go to seminary and pursue ministry and be poured in by my pastors and elders and go out on the weekends and try to exalt myself," he said. "I think that's a contradiction." 

Smith promised that he is going to give his all to the fans and show "gratitude and just say thank you for so many years." 

Smith has been married to his wife, Amber, since 2010. Together they share London, 11, Lincoln, 9, and Maverick -- whom they welcomed in 2021, two years after River's death. 

"I'm so hopeful about what this future holds for me and my family," he said. "Amber and I have been totally united on this."

Smith ended his message by promising his fans, "I'm not going anywhere, I'm going to be here," adding, "I just wanted to tell you guys I love you." 

Smith opened up about his decision to leave music with People, telling the publication that the time was right, knowing the direction his career would eventually take. Although he won't tour, he said music will still be part of his life.

"My career was going to start going down at some point, so there's something kind of neat to say that I will have never experienced the downward career spiral that would inevitably have happened to me," he told the publication. "It'll be neat to say that when we walked off, it was to full applause and to a bunch of love from the audience."