Former President Jimmy Carter has vowed to continue teaching Sunday School despite his advanced liver cancer.
The former US President and Nobel Peace Prize winner is famous for his outspoken faith. On Sunday he arrived at Maranatha Baptist church, where he is a regular member, an hour early to hear his niece teach Sunday School.
On 12 August, Carter announced he had advanced liver cancer. A statement on the Carter Centre website read, “recent liver surgery revealed that I have cancer that now is in other parts of my body. I will be rearranging my schedule as necessary so I can undergo treatment by physicians at Emory Healthcare.”
However he arrived at Maranatha Baptist in high spirits on Sunday, greeting many of his fellow church members and assuring a reporter, “I’ll be teaching Sunday School next week” as scheduled, according to the Atlanta Jounal-Constitution.
Many thousands sent their condolences and prayers after Carter’s cancer was announced. The White House released a statement on behalf of President Barack Obama and the First Lady.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Rosalynn and the entire Carter family as they face this challenge with the same grace and determination that they have shown so many times before. Jimmy, you’re as resilient as they come, and along with the rest of America, we are rooting for you,” the statement read.
Carter, a left-wing Democrat and 39th US President, is said to be the first evangelical president and introduced the phrase “born-again” into American political lexicon. “The culture of corruption surrounding the Nixon administration made Americans receptive to a candidate willing to talk about his faith,” Randall Balmer wrote in Redeemer, his spiritual biography of the peanut farmer and Sunday School teacher from Georgia.
Maranatha Baptist Church posted a message of thanks to all Carter’s supporters. “Throughout his many years of Christian service, President Carter has taught us much about having resilient faith in the midst of life’s trials and challenges,” the statement said. “In the same way, Maranatha Baptist Church strongly believes that God’s Spirit will be present with ‘Mr. Jimmy’ during his upcoming treatment.”