Jimmy Carter National Historical Park | MARANATHA BAPTIST CHURCH

Maranatha Baptist Church

Maranatha Baptist Church


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Upon returning to Plains in 1981 after his term as president, Jimmy Carter joined the Maranatha Baptist Church. While he was still president, one of the King Family members (of Martin Luther King, Jr. fame) called Plains Baptist Church, Carter’s church at the time, asking if he could come down to attend the church of the president. At the time, Plains Baptist did not allow blacks as members. The issue was put to a vote and the ban was upheld, which prompted 28 members to leave and form Maranatha Baptist Church. Carter, having grown up with blacks and being a staunch supporter of racial equality, left Plains Baptist as well and joined Maranatha. The split not only rocked the church, but the entire community of Plains, as families and friends fought over the issue.

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Last updated on April 30, 2022
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