Maranatha Baptist Church gathers to celebrate former President Carter’s 99th birthday

Published: Oct. 2, 2023 at 9:21 AM EDT
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PLAINS, Ga. (WTVM) - The community of Plains celebrated former President Jimmy Carter’s 99th birthday.

Just seven months ago, the world was told the longest living U.S. president entered end-of-life hospice care.

But on Sunday, October 1, Jimmy Carter turned 99 years old.

News Leader 9 was told that Jimmy Carter watched this morning’s service at home with his wife Rosalynn and all of his grandchildren. Fans were passed out to the few in attendance for Sunday morning’s service.

Maranatha Baptist is where the president taught Sunday School for more than 40 years - before, during, and after his presidency. The last Sunday School class President Carter taught was November 3, 2019. Coming from Atlanta to attend the service, a woman says it was very special for her to be there this morning.

“I feel especially connected to President Carter, not just as our 39 president, but it was one of the first books that I read from a former president - ‘An Hour Before Daylight’ and it was an autographed copy,” said Maryanne Padilla, of Atlanta.

Maranatha Church member and close family friend, Jan Williams, says Plains, Georgia is Jimmy Carter. You can’t take him out of it and he will be here forever.

Jan says Mr. Jimmy is a star in everyone’s eye as the type of person he was before presidency, during and the wonderful example he’s living after.