PLAINS, Ga. - Former President Jimmy Carter's Sunday school classes in Plains have become a hot ticket in recent years.
He teaches frequently, but not every week. Seats are filled on a first-come, first-seated basis. And they are limited.
Carter has taught Sunday school at Maranatha Baptist Church since leaving the White House in 1981, and he and his wife, Rosalynn, often pose for photos with visitors after the 11 a.m. worship service.
We'll have LIVE coverage from the former president's Sunday school class tomorrow on Channel 2 Action News Sunday AM.
Here are the things you need to know about Carter's Sunday school class.
The address, phone number and Facebook page: 148 Ga. 45, Plains, Ga. 31780. 229-824-7896, Web: mbcplains.org, Facebook: facebook.com/MBCPlains/. The president's teaching schedule is generally posted several weeks in advance on both sites.
Getting a seat requires being in line early. Attendees are given a number based on the order of arrival at the church parking lot. You can't sign up ahead of time.
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Seating is limited. Maximum capacity is 550 to 600 people. When seats in the sanctuary are filled, attendees will be assigned to an overflow room. When all seats are assigned, the line is cut off.
Sunday school begins at 10 a.m., but you need to arrive earlier and plan to stay later. To get a spot in line, the church suggests arriving by 5:30 a.m. "Based on recent attendance trends, visitors who arrived before 5:30 a.m. had no problem obtaining a sanctuary seat," according to the church website.
What to expect: Shortly after 8 a.m., visitors with seats go through a Secret Service security check to enter the sanctuary. Visitors are asked to attend a 9 a.m. orientation. The class begins at 10 a.m. and lasts about 45 minutes. Visitors are asked to stay for the 11 a.m. worship service.
Pictures? On Sundays when they attend, the Carters pose for pictures with those who attended. And they usually attend the worship service when they are in Plains, even on Sundays when Carter does not teach.
Related podcast: Sunday school and Plains with Jimmy Carter: The AJC's Shane Harrison and Jill Vejnoska talk about Carter's Sunday school class in Plains. The podcast includes audio of Carter from one such class
This article was written by Brian O'Shea, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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