|Jamie Coots Handling Snake|
Pastor Jamie Coots gained even more notoriety after being featured on the National Geographic reality TV show "Snake Salvation," which highlighted the practice.
Coots was bitten by a snake over the weekend at a Kentucky church service. As has been his usual practice through the years after being bitten, he refused medical treatment. He had been bitten 8 times in the past, according to his son Cody Coots.
A little over a year ago in January 2013, Coots was arrested in Tennessee for transporting two copperhead snakes and three rattlesnakes. The snakes were taken away by Wildlife officials and Coots was given a sentence of one year of unsupervised probation.
At the time of the snake bite, Coots was holding the rattlesnake at the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name Church in Middlesboro, which he pastored.
An ambulance was called to the facility, but Coots had already went home. When he was contacted at home to see if he wanted to be treated for the snake bite, he refused the offer.
About an hour after the ambulance left, emergency workers were called to the home, only to find Coots had died from the snake bite.
The reasoning behind the practice is a literal interpretation of this place in Mark:
"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."
National Geographic released this statement:
"Those risks were always worth it to him and his congregants as a means to demonstrate their unwavering faith. We were honored to be allowed such unique access to pastor Jamie and his congregation during the course of our show, and give context to his method of worship."