Jimmy Carter teaches Sunday School amid cancer treatment

Hundreds of people came to the Georgia church where he teaches in hopes of seeing the former president

Former President Jimmy Carter teaches Sunday School class at Maranatha Baptist Church in his hometown Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015, in Plains, Ga. The 90-year-old Carter gave one lesson to about 300 people filling the small Baptist church that he and his wife, Rosalynn, attend. It was Carter's first lesson since detailing the intravenous drug doses and radiation treatment planned to treat melanoma found in his brain after surgery to remove a tumor from his liver. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

PLAINS, Ga. — Former President Jimmy Carter taught two Sunday School classes on Sunday in his hometown of Plains, Georgia, three days after receiving radiation treatment for cancer.

The 90-year-old Mr. Carter gave one lesson to about 300 people filling Marantha Baptist Church, the small church that he and his wife, Rosalynn, attend. Mr. Carter regularly gives the lessons and has been teaching classes since his teens.

The former president recapped the details of his health but moved on after a few minutes.

“That’s enough of that subject,” he said before beginning the lesson on faith, love and personal relationships.

Mr. Carter announced earlier this month that he had cancer and revealed last week that it was a form of melanoma that has spread to his brain. He told reporters that he is dealing with it with hope and acceptance.

“I’m perfectly at ease with whatever comes,” he said. “It is in God’s hands.”

At the church Sunday, Mr. Carter encouraged the crowd to be faithful when faced with failure or disappointment.

“Say `God, I’m really troubled and I ask you to give me the strength to bear whatever I have on my shoulders and to face whatever comes to me,'” Mr. Carter said.

He paced across the front of the sanctuary, occasionally returning to a podium to read aloud or glance at notes through a pair of slim wire glasses. He gestured frequently as he spoke. He made direct eye contact with many congregants, and occasionally glanced over to the left side of the church where his wife sat.

He promised the crowd at the church he would be back to take photos with them after teaching a second class at the nearby high school and asked that they come up in groups.

“If you come up by yourself, I won’t say anything but I’ll wonder why you don’t have any friends,” Mr. Carter said before exiting to a burst of laughter.

The Macon Telegraph reported that people began lining up at midnight in the hopes of getting a seat in the sanctuary. More than 500 showed up at the church, which seats only 300.


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