It is not shocking today to hear candidates running for President to talk openly about their faith but back in 1976 it was a big deal. Randall Balmer, religion historian from Dartmouth College and Carter biographer explains how the 39th President’s rise and fall with evangelicals harkened a new era for the Religious Right. As Mr. Carter receives hospice treatment in Plains, Georgia, a longtime family friend and fellow church leader Jan Williams, shares the origin story of Maranatha Baptist Church and how its famous Sunday School teacher lived his faith.
Be Kind to the Person In Front of You
Jan Williams is a long-time Carter family friend and confidante, and for a period, served Mrs. Lillian Gorddy Carter as a personal secretary. Active in her church community throughout her life, Weaving from past to present, Williams recounts historical moments she witnessed and describes President Carter’s spiritual legacy that included working to support women’s access and inclusion in all spheres of church life.
Family, Reflection, and Slowing Down
There have been many books about President Jimmy Carter. Still, only one squarely focuses on the historical and spiritual influences that shaped the faith life of the nation’s 39th president. In the 2014 religious biography Redeemer, Randall Balmer describes how the controversial president’s rise and fall coincided with the decline of Christian progressives and the Religious Right and why he believes at several inflection points, Carter’s faith and spirituality have led him to take a path of redemption.