Jimmy Carter wins Nobel Peace Prize
October 18 2002 by John Pierce , Baptists Today

Jimmy Carter wins Nobel Peace Prize | Friday, Oct. 18, 2002

Friday, Oct. 18, 2002

Jimmy Carter wins Nobel Peace Prize

By John Pierce Baptists Today

PLAINS, Ga. - The world's best-known Baptist Sunday school teacher, Jimmy Carter, won this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

The 39th President of the United States was selected for his "vital contribution" to the historic Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt and his continuing efforts to resolve conflicts around the world and promote human rights.

Upon learning the news on Oct. 11, Carter told reporters he hoped the visibility from the Nobel Prize would enhance efforts in seeking peaceful solutions to international conflicts. Carter added that he would donate the $1 million prize to the Carter Center, the 20-year-old think tank and policy center that he and his wife, Rosalynn, started in 1982.

Carter considers establishing and working through the Atlanta-based center as his most gratifying and significant achievement. He is often described as a model ex-president for the work he has done with the center as well as with Habitat for Humanity and other service organizations.

Thousands of guests - including many international visitors - attend Sunday school classes at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains where Carter teaches most Sundays.

"It's about time!" Dan Ariail, pastor at Maranatha, told Baptists Today after the announcement. "He's been nominated seven times and passed over six."

However, Carter has also been gracious to state how previous winners were more deserving of the honor, Ariail said. "There is no end to my admiration for that guy."

Denton Lotz, general secretary of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) in Washington, D.C., wrote a letter congratulating Carter on behalf of Baptists around the world.

"For years we have prayed that the world would recognize you in this way because we know of no other person who has been such a great example of peace in the world," Lotz wrote in the letter. "Your commitment and dedication to carrying out the Christian principles of justice and righteousness mean so much to so many of our brothers and sisters who themselves are suffering from religious persecution.

"Thank you for not being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. ... Not only have you talked about Christ but your actions have spoken even louder. The fact that you helped eradicate river blindness in Africa is an example of your commitment to the principles of Christ's call in Matthew 25."

The BWA presented Carter with its first BWA Human Rights Award in 1995.

Carter is a lifelong Baptist who was actively involved in Southern Baptist Brotherhood work as a young man. However, he has been openly critical of changes in the Southern Baptist Convention over the past two decades.

The Carters have aligned themselves with the 11-year-old Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF). In 2001, he addressed CBF general assembly in Atlanta that drew a record crowd.

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10/18/2002 12:00:00 AM by John Pierce , Baptists Today | with 0 comments
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