In March, McBrayer was diagnosed with a heart condition called Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (More about the condition). Although the disease is manageable with treatment, it often affects a person's ability to do physical work. After many lengthy discussions and much prayer with his family, doctors and the other members of Avalon, McBrayer decided that he needed to resign from Avalon and focus on his health and his family’s welfare.
In a press release, McBrayer said, “The past 12 years have been such a tremendous blessing, and I am thankful for the opportunities I’ve been given as part of this amazing group. While the decision to leave Avalon saddens me, I feel that it is necessary in order to prolong my health both for myself and my family. I am so thankful for the love and support that my family has received from Janna, Greg and Melissa through this challenging time in our lives.”
“I am saddened to see Jody leave Avalon,” said Avalon’s Janna Long. “He has walked this amazing road with me from the very beginning. And while we will all miss him tremendously as an outstanding vocalist and friend, I know it is in his best interest to step down and take care of himself. Even though he will not be performing with us, we all look forward to his friendship lasting a lifetime.”
Avalon is currently in the studio recording what will be McBrayer's last project. The release will be a collection of classic CCM songs, selected by the group for their personal and professional impact on each of its members. Some of the songs on the album will be Sandi Patty and Wayne Watson’s duet “Another Time, Another Place,” “El Shaddai” by Amy Grant, “For The Sake of The Call” by Steven Curtis Chapman and First Call’s “The Reason We Sing." The CD is slated to release this coming September.
Avalon, considered a "standard" in Christian music since 1996, will continue to record and perform, even though they will miss Jody, a founding member, tremendously. The last membership change was in the summer of 2003, when Michael Passons left.