Even Carter’s setbacks, like a 2015 bout with cancer, are no match for the former politician.

“Don’t be sad for Jimmy,” Rafshoon told PEOPLE in August 2015 about Carter’s diagnosis. “Feel sorry for the doctor and the nurses who have to keep him from getting up and going to work.”

Cousin Betty Pope added then: “He told me many years ago that he wanted to die with his boots on, that he did not want to sit in a rocking chair and wait to die of pancreatic cancer like [his father, brother and two sisters]. You’ll see him out and about I’m sure.”

A prolific author, Carter published his most recent book,

He has dates listed for this coming Sunday as well as June 9 and 23, and July 7 and 21. The church’s website notes that he and Rosalynn stay after each class to pose for photos with visitors.

In his 2014 PEOPLE interview, Carter said he and his wife still read the Bible to each other every night in bed — but in Spanish, “just to practice our Spanish.”

• With reporting by SANDRA SOBIERAJ WESTFALL

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