RELIGION

Jimmy Carter focuses on faith and his hometown roots as he undertakes cancer battle

  • Brian Webber, of Birmingham, Ala., listens to instructions given out to the crowd waiting to enter Maranatha Baptist Church for Sunday School class Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015, in Plains, Ga. On Sunday morning, former President Jimmy Carter will teach his first lesson since detailing the intravenous drug doses and radiation treatment planned to treat melanoma found in his brain after surgery to remove a tumor from his liver. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

    Brian Webber, of Birmingham, Ala., listens to instructions given out to the crowd waiting to enter Maranatha Baptist Church for Sunday School class Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015, in Plains, Ga. On Sunday morning, former President Jimmy Carter will teach his first lesson since detailing the intravenous drug doses and radiation treatment planned to treat melanoma found in his brain after surgery to remove a tumor from his liver. (AP Photo/David Goldman)  (The Associated Press)

  • People wait in line to enter Maranatha Baptist Church for Sunday School class Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015, in Plains, Ga. On Sunday morning, former President Jimmy Carter will teach his first lesson since detailing the intravenous drug doses and radiation treatment planned to treat melanoma found in his brain after surgery to remove a tumor from his liver. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

    People wait in line to enter Maranatha Baptist Church for Sunday School class Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015, in Plains, Ga. On Sunday morning, former President Jimmy Carter will teach his first lesson since detailing the intravenous drug doses and radiation treatment planned to treat melanoma found in his brain after surgery to remove a tumor from his liver. (AP Photo/David Goldman)  (The Associated Press)

  • Jan Williams gives instructions as people wait to enter Maranatha Baptist Church for Sunday School class Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015, in Plains, Ga. On Sunday morning, former President Jimmy Carter will teach his first lesson since detailing the intravenous drug doses and radiation treatment planned to treat melanoma found in his brain after surgery to remove a tumor from his liver. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

    Jan Williams gives instructions as people wait to enter Maranatha Baptist Church for Sunday School class Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015, in Plains, Ga. On Sunday morning, former President Jimmy Carter will teach his first lesson since detailing the intravenous drug doses and radiation treatment planned to treat melanoma found in his brain after surgery to remove a tumor from his liver. (AP Photo/David Goldman)  (The Associated Press)

Former President Jimmy Carter taught two Sunday School classes on Sunday in his hometown of Plains, Georgia, three days after receiving radiation treatment for cancer.

The 90-year-old Carter gave one lesson to about 300 people filling the small Baptist church that he and his wife, Rosalynn, attend. Carter regularly gives the lessons and has been teaching classes since his teens.

Carter recapped the details of his health but moved on after a few minutes.

"That's enough of that subject," he said before beginning the lesson on faith, love and personal relationships.

He also encouraged the crowd to be faithful when faced with failure or disappointment.

"Say 'God, I'm really troubled and I ask you to give me the strength to bear whatever I have on my shoulders and to face whatever comes to me,'" Carter said.

He paced across the front of the sanctuary, occasionally returning to a podium to read aloud or glance at notes through a pair of slim wire glasses. He gestured frequently as he spoke. He made direct eye contact with many congregants, and occasionally glanced over to the left side of the church where his wife sat.

He promised the crowd at the church he would be back to take photos with them after teaching a second class at the nearby high school and asked that they come up in groups.

"If you come up by yourself, I won't say anything but I'll wonder why you don't have any friends," Carter said before exiting to a burst of laughter.