Pastor Cody Coots of the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus’ Name church in Middlesboro, Kentucky – one of America’s last remaining snake-handling churches, was rushed to the hospital after he was bitten by a serpent.
The Pastor whose father was killed by a snake, asked his congregation to take him to the mountaintop where God would judge whether he lives or dies after he was bitten by the snake, however a defiant follower took him to hospital instead where doctors told him the snake came close to severing the temporal artery, which would almost certainly kill him.
During his sermon, Pastor Coots could be seen handling a snake as he preaches to his congregation. However the snake snapped its jaw at the preacher’s ear – causing blood to splatter down his light-blue shirt.
However Pastor Coots continued his sermon, telling the members attending the service to: ‘Keep playing’ and ‘I’m not worried at all. God’s a healer, I’m not worried’.
Big Cody, who took him to hospital, said: ‘Most people bit in the face are dead in five, ten minutes. I mean, his own daddy got bit in the hand and within seven minutes was dead. ‘
His father Jamie Coots died at the age of 42 when he was bitten by a rattlesnake in 2014 at the same Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus’ Name church in Middlesboro, Kentucky. The church is inspired by the biblical verse Mark 16:18: ‘They will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them.’
Pastor Cody can be seen with blood all over his shirt before he is rushed to hospital. He’s now started to re-evaluate his life and faith in wake of his brush with death.
Snake-handling churches started appearing in the Appalachian Mountains over a hundred years ago. The death of Cody’s father thrust him into the pastor’s role at the age of just 23 – making him the fourth generation to take up the snake-handling vocation.