Jimmy Carter teaches Sunday school in hometown after cancer diagnosis

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PLAINS, Georgia — Former President Jimmy Carter spoke on Sunday for the first time since revealing the details of his cancer diagnosis.

His grandson told NBC News that this was the 689th time he had taught a class at the small Baptist church he went to for most of his life.

Carter discussed his health momentarily before starting the lesson. He then spent 45 minutes giving a lesson on faith and love.

When addressing his health last week, he said his hometown was very important.

“When I got through being governor I went back to Plains,” he said. “When I got through being president I went back to Plains and now no matter where we are in the world, you look forward to getting back home to Plains.”

Several hundreds gathered to hear him speak, compared to the normal congregation of 25-30 people.

“I admire his way of living — his lifestyle — the things that he did while he was in the White House,” said Marianne Hayward, who traveled from Alabama with her family. “We admired him as a president and we wanted to here.”