Utahn reflects on his experiences at Sunday School taught by President Carter

Feb 23, 2023, 8:30 PM | Updated: 9:39 pm

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter teaches Sunday school at Maranatha Baptist Church, Sunday, Nov. ...

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter teaches Sunday school at Maranatha Baptist Church, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in Plains, Ga. Mike Mower, of the governor's office, joined Inside Sources Thursday to reflect on his experiences of attending Sunday School taught by President Carter. Thursday (AP Photo/John Amis)

(AP Photo/John Amis)

SALT LAKE CITY — Former President Jimmy Carter began receiving at-home hospice care last weekend and will continue to do until the end of his life. The former President had a big impact on the lives of many. But perhaps no more than at the Maranatha Baptist Church in Georgia where he taught Sunday School for many years.

Mike Mower, a senior advisor in community outreach and intergovernmental affairs in the governor’s office, had attended many of President Carter’s Sunday School classes. He joined Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson on Thursday to share his experiences. 

Despite being a Reagan Republican from the small town of Ferron, Utah, Mower says he has attended President Carter’s Sunday School class about six times.

Matheson points out that President Carter sat in the oval office making significant decisions and then shared faith in a small Sunday School class. 

“You had to learn something unique about the president,” Matheson said.

“It was absolutely fascinating,” Mower said.

Security check to get into Sunday School with President Carter

Mower explains that in order to get into his Sunday School class, you have to first go through a magnetometer with the Secret Service

“But he came in very self-effacing, wonderful sense of humor,” Mower said. “And then picked up the scriptures and every year taught from the New Testament. And had a very profound testimony of Christ and would talk about what he was doing as a former president.”

Mower goes on to say that President Carter’s whole focus was serving his fellow man all across the world.

“He truly practiced servant leadership,” Mower said. “He truly practices what he preached.”

During one of President Carter’s lessons, Mower was introduced, and it was mentioned he was from Utah. President Carter asked, “You a member of the LDS church?” 

Mower answered yes to the question.

A favorite gift of President Carter

President Carter told Mower one of his favorite gifts he received during his time as president came from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The gift was a family history book of the Carter family going back years. 

Sybil Carter, a sister-in-law to President Carter, told Mower how much she loved the “Mormon missionaries.” Sybil Carter told Mower that she and her husband Billy Carter would always feed the missionaries. She said she was impressed how such clean-cut young men would ride around on bikes and tell everyone about Jesus.

“We moved to rural Georgia, and they even found us out there,” Sybil Carter told to Mower.

Mower said President Carter and his wife live in the same home they lived in before he was elected governor. It is roughly 2,500 square feet and 50 yards from a low-income housing project. 

“I mean so many of our former presidents build huge homes, and you know, live a different lifestyle,” he said. “He’s doing what he did before.”


Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app. 

Read more: Former President Jimmy Carter enters hospital for surgery

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Utahn reflects on his experiences at Sunday School taught by President Carter