PLAINS, Ga. - President Jimmy Carter has told members of his Plains, Georgia church that he plans to reduce the number of weeks each month that he will teach Sunday school.
Members of Maranatha Baptist Church say the President has NOT said he stop teaching, just that he will teach on fewer days.
"President Carter discussed this with members of the church and we are, of course, supportive of any decision he makes," said Jill Stuckey, media director for Maranatha Baptist. "We love to hear him teach Sunday school and we're happy he's going to continue doing so as long as he wants."
Typically, hundreds of visitors, many of them tourists, crowd into Maranatha Baptist on days when Mr. Carter is scheduled to teach.
The church says Carter's niece Kim Fuller will substitute when President Carter is not teaching.
The Carter Center in Atlanta also issued a statement, which seemed to cast doubt on how much longer Carter will teach at Maranatha Baptist:
"Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter plans to begin reducing his Sunday teaching schedule, but will continue teaching for a few more months. As usual, his teaching schedule will be posted on the Maranatha Baptist Church website (http://www.mbcplains.org/). He and Mrs. Carter will continue to attend Sunday school and church at Maranatha when they are in town, and will still welcome visitors and have photographs with those who attend."