Snake-handling Kentucky pastor dies after serpent bite
Monday, February 17, 2014 - 01:06
Feb 17 - Pentecostal pastor Jamie Coots who regularly handled snakes as a demonstration of his faith, died over the weekend after a serpent bit his hand. Deborah Gembara reports.
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A Kentucky pastor who made snake handling a part of his Pentecostal ministry --- died over the weekend after being bitten by a serpent.
SOUNDBITE: CODY COOTS, SON OF PASTOR JAMIE COOTS, SAYING:
"I was there when it happened. I was standing there, and I'd seen him get bit."
Pastor Jamie Coots, seen here during a service several years ago, was leading an evening service at the Full Gospel Tabernacle In Jesus Name Church when the snake bit his hand. Coots refused medical treatment and died an hour later.
His son, Cody Coots.
SOUNDBITE: Cody Coots, son of Pastor Jamie Coots saying:
"He always told us, you get bit, you either die at home, or God brings you through."
In certain Pentecostal communities, snake handling is seen as demonstration of faith.
Pastor Coots in a 2012 interview explained it this way.
SOUNDBITE: Pastor Jamie Coots saying:
"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."
Family members say Coots had been handling snakes for more then two decades and had survived at least eight earlier bites.
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