Granger Smith surrenders life of fame to glorify God through ministry work: 'I have a purpose'

Amber and Granger Smith
Amber and Granger Smith | Screenshot: Christian Post

Country music star Granger Smith is leaving the entertainment industry to devote his life to ministry work, believing he must leave his celebrity lifestyle behind to answer a higher calling.  

The performer will end his career in the music industry after his “Like a River” shows this summer. The tour, named after Smith’s 3-year-old son, who died in a pool accident in 2019, started on April 13 and is scheduled to end on Aug. 26. 

During an interview with host Fox News host Trey Gowdy that aired Sunday, the country music star said his story is of a man who lived the life he’d always dreamed of having, but now he’s stepping away because he believes that’s what God has called him to do. 

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Gowdy asked Smith about the death of his son and how that tragedy strengthened the Christian celebrity’s faith. The Fox News host noted how, for some, an incident like that could lead them to abandon their faith. 

The singer responded by saying he couldn't take credit for the “radical transformation” that the Lord brought into his life through the loss of his son. 

“When that soil is cultivated, and we have to dig deep, and we can’t find it within ourselves, the Lord comes in and shows Himself in a very profound way,” Smith said. 

Smith explained that God gave him a gift during the darkest tragedy of his life. The country music star said that he knows he must now do something with what the Lord gave him. 

“I have a purpose to go out and share this message about what happened to me for other people who are probably going through the same thing,” he added. 

In his upcoming book, Like a River: Finding the Faith and Strength to Move Forward after Loss and Heartache, Smith delves into this further by telling readers how to find purpose after a loss and connect with God.

Gowdy challenged the country music star’s decision to leave the entertainment industry and pursue a life of ministry, highlighting that some would argue Smith’s platform as a celebrity would enable him to reach more people. 

The husband and man of faith said the decision was something he debated, acknowledging that remaining a country music star would have allowed him to be a “light in the darkness.” Smith agreed that through his platform as a celebrity, there was the potential to talk about Jesus and sing hymns. 

But he could not reconcile choosing to remain a country music singer with what Jesus told His disciples in the Bible, instructing anyone wishing to follow Him to deny themselves and take up His cross. Jesus telling His followers to “deny himself” is something that Smith confessed he struggled with internally. 

As a performer, Smith highlighted how he is onstage every night “seeking glory” and applause and wanting people to exalt him. The singer told Gowdy that Christ's followers are not called to this, although he clarified that he’s not condemning anyone else in the entertainment industry. 

“I think God looks at us and says, ‘Don’t tell me how I get my glory,’” Smith said. “It’s so easy for us to go, ‘Oh, I know how I’m going to glorify God — my way! And I’ll also be rich and famous at the same time.” 

Smith announced his decision to leave his life as a country music singer behind to focus on ministry work at his local church in an April 11 Instagram post. The Christian celebrity shared that he’s “excited” and “joyful” about the next chapter of his life, but he also admitted that he’s unsure about what it’ll look like. 

“This message is so difficult to post,” he stated. “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.” 

The Christian performer added that he wants to glorify God the best way that he can, expressing a desire to learn and serve his local church. 

“Lord willing, I want to be used to help people find their purpose,” he stated. 

Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: Follow her on Twitter: @Samantha_Kamman

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