In April, Granger Smith (also known as Earl Dibbles Jr.) left his country music career to pursue a job in the ministry at his local church outside Austin, Texas. The major life decision arrived after Smith’s three-year-old son, River, tragically died in a drowning accident.
Recently appearing in an interview with Today, the Hate You Like I Love You singer revealed that his decision to leave music was a gradual realisation rather than a sudden thought. “I keep a journal,” Smith began in the interview.
“When I put in a new entry, I'll go ahead and read the last four entries from the last four years, and I've been tracking this idea of: ‘Man, this touring thing — how much longer do I have it in me to look for fulfilment on stage?’”
He continued to admit that writing and performing music wasn’t sufficient for him, telling Today, “Writing songs, it's kind of always skating around the subject a little bit. That just wasn't enough for me.”
Smith’s appearance on Today was in promotion of his new book, Like a River: Finding the Faith and Strength to Move Forward after Loss and Heartache.
The book also uncovers his path within his church’s ministry, an announcement he previously made on social media.
“I’ve been so nervous to make this video,” Smith began. “Just because of the implications it means for my life and family. But I’m making this post to announce that this summer is my last ever tour [the Like A River tour].”
“I have felt a strong desire to pursue ministry. This doesn't mean I'm going to start a church, crusade or revival. It means me and my family are going to serve our local church.”
Smith further explained, “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.
“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.”