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Former US President Jimmy Carter stands before a full sanctuary at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Ga. to deliver tragic news ahead of his Sunday school class. (Photo: WXIA-TV, Atlanta)
Former US President Jimmy Carter stands before a full sanctuary at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Ga. to deliver tragic news ahead of his Sunday school class.
(Photo: WXIA-TV, Atlanta)
PLAINS, Ga. — Former president Jimmy Carter was late to his Bible study class Sunday morning, something he said never happens as he walked up to the front of the sanctuary. There he received hugs from those who likely already knew why.

His service started with an announcement of something Carter’s voice indicated was weighing heavily on his heart.

His grandson, Jeremy Carter, who had spent Thanksgiving with him just weeks ago, died suddenly in the night.

Carter said his grandson, just 28 years old, had excused himself from supper to lay down because he wasn’t feeling well.

“So he went to his room to lay on the bed and when they went to see if he was OK and his heart quit beating,” Carter said quietly in front of his class at Maranatha Baptist Church.

Carter said his grandson was rushed to the hospital around 1:30 a.m. ET. There, Carter said, Jeremy Carter’s heart stopped again.

“So they tried to give him CPR, but he passed away,” Carter said to the full sanctuary now filling with audible gasps and short cries. “He was just 28 and a very wonderful young man who we loved very much.”

Jeremy Davis Carter was the middle of three children of Jeff and Annette Carter, who live in Atlanta, according to georgiaenclyclopedia.org. Jeff Carter, 63, is the third of Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter’s four children, and was an adult when Carter became president in 1977.

The former president, now 91, spoke briefly of his grandson and how he was full of life and very special to him.

And then, as he has done for years and through his own health issues, he began teaching his Sunday school class.

It was the same class where he announced to many his cancer battle and, more recently, his triumph against the aggressive disease.

Sunday’s class continued on as planned with a theme related to the upcoming holiday.

“I hope that out of this Christmas season we’ll remember what the angels’ song said: Joy to the world, and peace on Earth; goodwill to every person,” he said.

USA TODAY

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