August 14, 2013

Kentucky Snake Handling Preacher Gets Reality Show on National Geographic

After a bout with the law in Tennessee which garnered national attention, Kentucky preacher Jamie Coots of Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name church of Middlesboro, Ky., and Andrew Hamblin of Tabernacle Church of God in LaFollette, Tenn., will get their own reality TV show on the National Geographic Channel.

Coots was arrested in by officials in Tennessee for transporting snakes into the state, which are illegal for private citizens to own there, although legal in Kentucky. After a routine traffic stop, five rattlesnakes were discovered in Coots' car, all of which were confiscated by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. Apparently the interesting headlines attracted the attention of National Geographic, which made a deal with Coots and Hamblin. Hamlin was featured in the story, commenting on the arrest of Coots for transporting the snakes. One of the episodes will cover that particular story.

Dubbed "Snake Salvation," the series will launch on Sept. 10 at 8 p.m. Central time on the National Geographic Channel.

The scripture used to justify the snake-handling practice is found in Mark 16, where it says this: “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”

Not only will the preachers handle snakes, but people in the congregation will as well, based upon the belief that the above scripture includes everyone, and not just a special few.

Nonetheless, Coots says that while the series will include the snake-handling aspects of his belief, it will go beyond that to show the belief system goes beyond only holding and passing snakes around. To that end the show will include how the people deal with life on a daily basis. Tension will be seen because of the problems members face, including poverty, drugs, and marital problems.

And yes. In the series viewers will see one person that is bitten by a snake while handling it.

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