Jamie Coots, pastor of the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name Church of Middlesboro, Ky., died Saturday of a snake bite. (SHELLEY MAYS/THE TENNESSEAN/AP)

Coots, the star of National Geographic’s ‘Snake Salvation’ refused medical attention for the snake bite, dying in his Kentucky home. The pastor was praised for his ‘devout religious convictions’ despite the danger.


A snake-handling TV preacher died on Saturday of a snake bite.

Pastor Jamie Coots, the star of “Snake Salvation,” was bitten on the right hand at his Kentucky church, Middlesborough police said.

The Pentecostal holy man refused to go to the hospital or accept any medical treatment, police said.

Coots, whose show appeared on National Geographic’s television channel, believed snake handling was a commandment from God and a viper’s bite was God’s will.

“When I first started church I said if I ever went to a hospital or a doctor over a snake bite I would quit church,” Coots said in one episode.

He had previously survived a bite that cost him most of the middle finger on his right hand. Instead seeking medical attention for the gruesome injury, he let it rot to black, exposing a quarter inch of bone before it broke off.

He kept the stub of the finger in a glass jar for his wife.

“To me it’s as much of a commandment from God when he said, ‘they shall take up serpents’ as it was when he ‘thou shall not commit adultery,” Coots said on the show of snake handling.

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SOURCE: New York Daily News
Doyle Murphy


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