NASHVILLE, Tenn. — With a bandage above his left eye and a large, red welt below it, former President Jimmy Carter was greeted by a cheering crowd Monday morning as he prepared to help build a home with Habitat for Humanity in Nashville.
Carter fell at home on Sunday, requiring 14 stiches, but he did not let his injuries keep him from participating in his 36th building project with the nonprofit Christian housing organization. He turned 95 last Tuesday, becoming the first U.S. president to reach that milestone.
Before construction began, Carter led a morning devotion for a group of several hundred volunteers.
He walked slowly across the uneven, muddy ground to the stage helped by a cane and several people who were nearby to steady him. Once seated, Carter, who still teaches Sunday school twice a week at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Georgia, spoke in a clear voice, peppering his inspirational message with jokes.
Joining Carter at the building site on Monday were former First Lady Rosalynn Carter; husband and wife country music stars Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood; and Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and First Lady Maria Lee.
Musician Eric Paslay played a song before Carter took the stage and joked about Carter’s injury as he introduced him.
“After that bar fight, you coming out, building houses … I love you to death,” Paslay said.