Baptist Briefs: Church limits crowds for Carter Sunday school class

Former President Jimmy Carter teaching Sunday School at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Ga. (RNS Photo courtesy of Frank Kavanaugh)

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Well-wishers flocking to Plains, Ga., to hear Jimmy Carter teach Sunday school after being diagnosed with cancer are overwhelming the relatively small Maranatha Baptist Church. The church announced it would begin limiting the size of crowds attending a Sunday school class taught by former President Jimmy Carter. A statement on the church website said “from a practical and safety standpoint,” church leaders decide to allow no more than 400 people into the church building, beginning Aug. 30. Visitors can show up as early as a minute past midnight. Each will be issued a number on arrival and must remain at Maranatha Baptist Church to ensure entrance into Carter’s class. No camping will be allowed, and visitors must stay in their vehicles, except to use the restroom, until 7 a.m., when they will line up by number for admittance into the church building by about 7:30. Visitors who arrive after seating is filled may watch Carter’s 10 a.m. lesson on live video stream at Plains High School, part of the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site managed by the U.S. National Park Service. Carter’s updated schedule shows him planning to teach lessons Sept. 13 and 27; and Oct. 4, 18 and 25.

Pioneering medical missionary dies. Missionary doctor Wana Ann Gibson Fort, 91, died Aug. 31 in Baton Rouge, La. She and her husband, the late Milton “Giles” Fort Jr., were appointed in 1952 by what was then called the wana ann gibson fort130Wana Ann Gibson FortSouthern Baptist Convention’s Foreign Mission Board to serve as missionary doctors at Sanyati Baptist Hospital in Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe. The Forts raised five sons in Zimbabwe. Three have served or continue to serve as missionaries, and two are medical doctors. The Forts retired in September 1988 after nearly 36 years of missionary service. Fort was born June 21, 1924, in Harrisonburg, La., and was the oldest of seven girls. She graduated from Louisiana Tech in the fall of 1944, summa cum laude, and graduated with honors from Baylor College of Medicine in 1949, one of three women in a class of 62 graduates.


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