Carter reportedly shared the good news while teaching a Sunday School class in Plains, Georgia

By Andrea Park
Updated December 06, 2015 12:15 PM
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Credit: Sam Emerson/Polaris

Jimmy Carter announced that his cancer is gone while teaching a Sunday School class at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Georgia, on Sunday, a close friend and member of the church told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“He said he got a scan this week and the cancer was gone,” Jill Stuckey said. “The church, everybody here, just erupted in applause.”

The Associated Press tweeted that Carter’s grandson had also confirmed that there was no sign of cancer in his last scan.

Carter confirmed the news to PEOPLE and said he would continue treatments.

“My most recent MRI brain scan did not reveal any signs of the original cancer spots nor any new ones,” he said in the statement. “I will continue to receive regular 3-week immunotherapy treatments of pembrolizumab.”

Carter, 91, revealed in August that he had cancer that started in his liver but was spreading elsewhere. The cancer was discovered after he underwent surgery to remove a small mass in his liver earlier that month.

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In November, The Carter Center released a statement saying the 39th president’s cancer had stopped spreading and was responding well to treatment.

Carter remained active throughout his cancer treatment, even building homes with wife Rosalynn for Habitat for Humanity in early November.

Carter’s cousin Betty Pope told PEOPLE in August that the former president would be keeping active despite his cancer diagnosis.

“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 the rest of his family,” Pope said.

With reporting by MARIA MERCEDES LARA