Country star Granger Smith gives up music to join ministry

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Country singer Granger Smith has announced that he’s trading music for a different career path.

The “Backroad Song” hitmaker told fans that he’s joining a ministry — meaning that his upcoming “Like a River” tour will be his last hurrah.

“I just want to glorify God the best way that I can,” he wrote on Instagram Tuesday. “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 has enjoyed a successful music career that spanned 24 years, but says he’s finally ready to bow out after feeling a “strong desire to pursue ministry.”

The crooner said he wants to “glorify God the best way that I can.”Instagram/@grangersmith

Smith tied the knot with wife Amber Bartlett in 2010.Instagram/@grangersmith

“This doesn’t mean I’m going to start a church or a crusade or a revival,” he noted, but added that he will be serving his church located just outside of Austin, Texas.

The Texas native explained that he decided to join a ministry after reading Mark 8 from the bible.

“Jesus says if anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me,” Smith said, adding that this “form of self-denial is something I’m just not doing.”

The pair are parents to London, Lincoln and Maverick.Instagram/@grangersmith

The pair were faced with unimaginable tragedy when their son River died in a drowning accident in 2019.Instagram/@grangersmith

“And country music, when I get up on a stage and just need glorification and need praise,” he went on. “And if I don’t get it, then that means my career is not doing well. And so I’d work harder for that. I can’t reconcile those two things, y’all. I can’t, I can’t.”

“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,” he told People.

“Which is ultimately why I started music touring in the very beginning. This is an even more micro-focused position in that. I’m not going anywhere.”

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The announcement comes nearly four years after Smith‘s 3-year-old son River tragically died in a drowning accident.

Smith’s “Like a River” tour was named in his son’s honor, and is set to kick off in Wisconsin on Thursday, with its final show on August 26.

Smith’s “Backroad Song” spent 16 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at No. 49 in 2016.

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