Maranatha Baptist Church prays for Jimmy Carter as former president enters hospice care

Former President Jimmy Carter at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Georgia.
Former President Jimmy Carter at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Georgia. | Facebook/Maranatha Baptist Church

Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Georgia, offered prayers for former President Jimmy Carter during their service on Sunday morning after it was announced that their most famous member and Sunday School teacher had started hospice care.

“Lord, we’d be amiss this morning if we did not lift President Carter to you,” a church member said in a prayer from the pulpit. “Lord, we pray that you be with his family (and) those around him. And God, we thank you for his service to this nation.”

On Saturday, both the church, where Carter, 98, taught Sunday School for decades and The Carter Center announced that the former president would stop further “medical intervention” and enter into hospice care.

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“After a series of short hospital stays, former President Jimmy Carter today decided to spend his remaining time at home with his family and receive hospice care instead of additional medical intervention,” a statement shared by the church and The Carter Center noted.

Since that time, there has been a national outpouring of praise and prayerful support for Carter, who famously kept teaching his Sunday School class at Maranatha Baptist Church after he was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2015.

“To our friends Jimmy and Rosalynn and to their family — Jill and I are with you in prayer and send you our love,” wrote President Joe Biden about his longtime friend in a statement on Twitter. “We admire you for the strength and humility you have shown in difficult times. May you continue your journey with grace and dignity, and God grant you peace.”

Bernice King, CEO of The King Center in Atlanta and daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., praised Carter for his “compassion for all people.”

“The King Center staff and I join the nation in prayer for our former governor, state senator, and our nation's 39th President, Jimmy Carter. I consider him a friend as did my mother, Mrs. Coretta Scott King and my grandfather Dr. Martin Luther King Sr.,” she wrote on Twitter Sunday.

“Former President Carter's love and compassion for all people set him apart as a leader, servant, and simply a great man striving to achieve a Beloved Community,” she added. “We are praying that you feel God's grace, mercy, and love as well as the love of your family, The King Center, and the world that you have so graciously served.”

Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Georgia, who also leads the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, praised Carter as a “man of great faith.”

“Across life’s seasons, President Jimmy Carter, a man of great faith, has walked with God. In this tender time of transitioning, God is surely walking with him,” Warnock tweeted. “May he, Rosalynn & the entire Carter family be comforted with that peace and surrounded by our love & prayers.”

As the messages of support continued to pour in The Carter Center directed his admirers to share their “messages of peace & comfort” on a special page on the Carter Center’s website.

“We really appreciate all the kind words we’ve received from President Carter’s admirers,” the organization said.

Carter, who is the oldest living former president, endured a series of surgeries in 2019, after suffering multiple falls.

That year, he revealed that he “was absolutely and completely at ease with death” after his brain cancer diagnosis in 2015.

“I assumed, naturally, that I was going to die very quickly,” Carter told his church.

“I obviously prayed about it. I didn’t ask God to let me live, but I asked God to give me a proper attitude toward death. And I found that I was absolutely and completely at ease with death,” he explained.

“It didn’t really matter to me whether I died or lived,” he added. “Except I was going to miss my family, and miss the work at the Carter Center and miss teaching your Sunday School service sometimes and so forth. All those delightful things.”

Contact: Follow Leonardo Blair on Twitter: @leoblair Follow Leonardo Blair on Facebook: LeoBlairChristianPost

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