Pastor of snake handling church in KY dies of snake bite
By CBS News
Pastor of KY snake handling church dies of snake bite. Photo Courtesy: MGN Online
A snake handler and church leader in Kentucky died on Saturday after being bit during a religious ceremony.
Pastor Jamie Coots lives by the snake, and Saturday he died by the snake. Coots was handling a rattlesnake during an evening service at the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name Church in Middleboro, KY when the serpent bit his right hand.
"I was there when it happened," said Coots son, Cody Coots. "I was standing there, and I'd seen him get bit. He always told us, you get bit, you either die at home, or god brings you through."
Cody Coots said his father refused medical treatment and died an hour later..
Coots had been using snakes during religious services for the past 20 years and had said he was obeying God's word. In a 2012 interview the pastor seemed to accept his fate.
"I had rather die and leave these walks of life with a serpent bite knowing it's people standing around me praying as to be in a car wreck and people standing around me cussing," said Coots during the interview
Family member said that Coots had suffered snake bites at least eight times before and survived.
"I love my dad, but God has a plan. you can't change it," said Cody Coots.
Cody Coots said the snake-handling church isn't for everyone. He said you need to be raised in the church to understand their beliefs.
In May 2012, Mark Wolford, the pastor of a snake handling church in Mercer County died of a snakebite. Wolford lead worship at the Apostolic House of the Lord Jesus in Matoaka. Wolford was bitten by a snake at the Panther State Forest.