Snake Salvation: Inside the Controversial World of Serpent-Handling Churches

Imagine if your path into heaven was contingent on holding deadly snakes above your head while speaking and singing in tongues. Based on a Bible passage that suggests a poisonous snakebite will do no harm as long as its handler is anointed by God’s power, some devotees of this unconventional ritual practiced in 100 churches in the U.S. believe not participating will leave them destined for hell.

Following in the National Geographic Channel tradition of taking you inside the worlds of everyday people living unordinary lives, the new series Snake Salvation, premiering Tuesday, September 10, at 9:00 and 9:30 p.m. ET, follows two pastors of this creed who frequently battle the law, a disapproving society and sometimes their own families to lead their faithful followers to righteousness. For pastors Jamie Coots and Andrew Hamblin, the work is always hard, but always worth it, as to them, handling snakes is nothing short of a commandment from God. You can call them crazy, but they are determined to keep their tradition alive no matter the cost.

“Jamie and Andrew take huge risks in practicing their faith, not just in terms of the danger posed by the venomous serpents they handle, but also from law enforcement,” said Matthew Testa, the executive producer for the series. “But they firmly believe they are commanded by the Bible to take up serpents as a sign to non-believers, and feel strongly they are exercising their religious freedom as guaranteed by the Constitution. They often say, ‘God’s law trumps the law of man.’ ”

Pentecostals who call themselves “Holiness” followers have been handling deadly snakes for more than a hundred years in the United States. Since its founding there have been as many as 100 reported deaths from church-related snake bites. The doctrine of the faith is based on a passage from the Book of Mark (Mark 16:17–18) that says, “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.”

For nearly 20 years Pastor Jamie Coots has led the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name, founded by his grandfather, in Middlesboro, Ky. His father, Greg, was also a snake-handling minister, and Jamie’s son “Little Cody” hopes to one day carry on the family tradition. Though Pastor Jamie lost half of a finger to a rattlesnake bite, he still believes he must take up serpents to follow his faith. His biggest supporter is his wife, Linda, who plays instruments at every church service and adheres to their faith’s strict tenets that forbid women from cutting their hair, wearing makeup or wearing pants. Though she gets nervous watching her husband at work, Linda feels no fear when handling snakes herself — describing it as “a calm” that overtakes her.

“My job as pastor is to kindly keep myself and my flock in line, and to do what we feel is right according to the word of God,” says Pastor Jamie. “To me it’s as much a commandment from God when he said ‘they shall take up serpents,’ as it was when he said ‘thou shall not commit adultery.’”

Pastor Andrew Hamblin used to be a member of Pastor Jamie’s congregation, and he is close enough to Jamie to call him “Dad.” Now Andrew, only 22 years old, has started his own church of “sign followers,” and though he is young and passionate, he is still working to prove himself to his flock. He is struggling to provide for his wife, Elizabeth, and their five children while on food stamps, and he is on a mission to grow his small church by appealing to a younger generation. The financial burden for running his own church may be too much for him to bear.

“I’ve got something in my soul greater than anything,” says Pastor Andrew. “If I lost my wife to it, if I lost my children, God in heaven forbid I ever do, when my children get old enough to handle them … it would take all I had in me, because I love my wife. I love my kids. But it’d still be the word of God and I’d still have to do it.”

Each episode of Snake Salvation will follow Pastors Jamie and Andrew as they fight to maintain their struggling churches. Their biggest obstacle is their most important: finding and sustaining a collection of venomous snakes to use in their services. Each will take viewers along as they head out on snake roundups, racing to find dens of their coveted cold-blooded reptiles before winter starts and the snakes go into hiding. With both pastors too financially strapped to purchase their supply, they are often forced to get creative to keep their stock thriving, be it snake trading at Repticon, the reptile convention, or illegally transporting venomous reptiles from warmer climates across state lines. Even if they can keep their snake population thriving, and stay out of jail, they’re also challenged to find and retain followers to their unorthodox faith. Many community members scoff at their bizarre practices, members of their own families teeter on faithfulness and reformed criminals use it as their best defense against backsliding into sin. Viewers will even see occasions when church members were bitten by the venomous serpents. But the pastors’ own faith never falters that they’ll be able to inspire their masses to seek their personal Snake Salvation.

Tune in to Snake Salvation this Tuesday at 9P.

Comments

  1. Jason
    September 10, 2013, 11:57 pm

    How do they run out of snakes? Do they kill them after?

  2. monique
    Leesville, La
    September 11, 2013, 9:21 am

    I am a Christian, I have faith in God that all things are possible thru him. But I have a problem with this because it seems that this is like asking God to prove himself to us. God and his protection of us does not need to be tested. I do believe that the scripture this whole religion is based on means that, after Jesus was resurrected and ascended into heaven that his message of tongues, serpents, etc., was to let us know that because he no longer walked the earth as a man and his spirit has been sent to live among us that we should not be afraid…..that we will speak to God thru prayer, not as face to face, a new tongue…..that with faith he will protect us from danger, serpents, poison, etc……and praying for the ones we love for healing, be it spiritual or physical healing. Again, to me, this is like saying “ok, God, I am going to deliberately put myself in harms way so prove to the non believer that you are going to protect me”…….Jesus proved his love and protection of us when he died on the Cross, was buried, and on the 3rd day he arose and ascended into Heaven to sit at the right hand side of God. He sent his spirit to live with and among us so that we would always know that he is here among us. We, no one, should test God like this. I, personally, do have faith that during the times which I am in danger that God will protect me. And when I was saved I did speak with a different tongue, not a different or unknown language….when I was saved, God changed all for me….God said that he would never temp us….only the Devil temps us…..therefore, should we really be tempting God.

    Also, going to be interesting to see whether or not the reported cases of potentially lethal snake bites rises due to the light shed on this religion. Just a bit concerning to me, but that is just my opinion…..

  3. greg
    middlesboro ky
    September 11, 2013, 12:16 pm

    I consider myself a Christian. Each day, many times I pray for those around me, those that are less fortunate , those that lead ,and those who follow. I am from this small town in southeast Ky. It truly pains me to see MY town portrayed as some “Taboo” practicing religious village. I am thankful for the lord’s blessing’s and I can not see how only half a dozen people or less can even get on National TV. The true fact is, Snake handler’s are a very small percentage of the many thousand’s of people in this area. I believe that any American has the right to practice whatever Religion they so choose. But to broadcast it on National TV without representation from any other Religion in the area is just outright Malicious. As for my personal belief’s. I would never Tempt God’s Faith in myself, as it is written many times in the gospel’s many examples of the wrath of God on those who Tempt, and or disobey the lord’s word, Snake salvation makes for some interesting TV and I’m sure the rating’s were good. Just keep in mind , Ancient Aliens made good TV as well, Interesting to watch, But that’s the extent of it

  4. Andrea Sizemore
    Kentucky
    September 11, 2013, 2:49 pm

    I take issue with the statement that states “Pentecostals who call themselves ‘Holiness’ have been handling snakes…….” All Holiness churches do not practice this ritual. I know, because I was raised in one.

  5. CTEX
    September 11, 2013, 9:19 pm

    Luke 4:12 And Jesus answering said to him, It is said, You shall not tempt the Lord your God.

    This shure looks like Temptation to ME…lol

  6. Sylvia
    Henderson, NC
    September 12, 2013, 12:19 pm

    I have always loved your channel. Most of the programming is great but you have sunk to a new low when you have planned to show a program called “Snake Salvation”. Surely you can find something more educational than that. Honey Boo and now this.

  7. Brittany
    macon, ga.
    September 12, 2013, 9:32 pm

    This show is so crazy. I cant understand how you would praise serpents. In the bible, the serpent is the devil so why would you praise the devil and his ways? This show has nothing to do with god. This is just my opinion.

  8. Mitch
    mich.
    September 13, 2013, 8:38 am

    The Bible says do not follow traditions. your ancestors read the Bible wrong a long time ago, all you guys are doing is traditions read the Bible yourself! the Bible says have faith in him(God). and do not test him and that’s all you guys are doing. remember it was the serpent that did us in from the beginning!! so please stop being ignorant for your children’s sake….

  9. Mike
    September 13, 2013, 5:01 pm

    These people are complete dumb asses Its pretty clear they are uneducated hillbillies. PLEASE DO NOT BREED you f***king idiots. I certainly hope that Nat Geo is not paying these people for this show. The sad part is they are probably getting some type of federal or state support for being a “religon” Bunch of FOOLS

  10. carter
    September 13, 2013, 9:38 pm

    I bet this “church” needs to keep collecting snakes because the ones they keep on hand die from bad cage conditions. One of the pastors in this show admits to being on welfare, which probably means he cannot afford proper caging with heat for these animals, or has money to feed them. People like this should not be given a tv show, they are redneck trash who should be charged with animal curtly/illegal wildlife collection and nothing more. The fact that these people do not usually get bit while jumping around shouting weird sounds just shows how little snakes want to harm people (they just want to be left alone). All religion is stupid, but these hillbilly’s really take things to a new level of dumb. On top of that it hurts wild snake populations already dealing with pollution and habitat destruction, and we need snakes to control rodent populations. Why is Nat Geo doing a show like this? What ever happened to wildlife documentaries?

  11. carter
    September 13, 2013, 11:07 pm

    Nat Geo why would you put this trash on your network? You are giving attention to redneck’s who abuse and illegally collect animals. Why are no state officials charging these backwoods morons with illegal collection? They admit to being on food stamps, so it is hard to believe these people have the money to provide proper caging with heat and feed these snakes. The reason these people always need more snakes is probably because the ones they have on hand die from bad care. The cages are overcrowded, look dirty and appear to have no heat, in these conditions a snake would get a respiratory infection and die without care from a vet (i doubt these people would ever take a snake to a vet). Collecting from the wild is hard on snake populations, which already deal with habitat loss and pollution. In one episode they hunt rattlesnakes by pouring gasoline into a den. This destroys the den for other snakes, birds, rodents, and tortoises which also use them. The fact that the snakes do not usually bite these hicks when they pick them up, jump around and shout in nonsense words just goes to show how little these snakes want to bite people (they just want to be left alone). Snakes are an important part of the environment, they control the rodent population and should be respected and left alone when encountered in the wild away from people. National Geographic should not alienate it’s intelligent viewers to pander to morons and get ratings.

  12. Sav
    Phoenix
    September 14, 2013, 2:57 pm

    This sad situation is the result of a few things. One, American media bent on showing “Christianity” in a negative light. But glorifying vampirism & witchcraft. And two, not rightly dividing the Word. These pastors should simply look up what a metaphor is. As in Matt 23v33 where Jesus called the Pharisees serpents,yet they were not snakes. And in Luke 10v19 He told us we would tread on serpents & have power over the enemy. Serpents is METAPHOR signifying unclean spirits or demons.
    Acts 2 v 38

  13. Tony
    Florida
    September 15, 2013, 7:25 am

    They should be sharged with negligent homicide for every death as a result of snake bite. Also, the full passage says: 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.” – so why aren’t they drinking poison every week? Huh, tough guys?

  14. Jimmy Stout
    Tucson, AZ
    September 16, 2013, 3:14 pm

    I could not be more irritated by this show. This cult was originally started in Old Test. and was banned back then too. The verse these two apostate retards keep quoting is being taken completely out of context. My goodness this angers me and I liked your channels, but this too much harassy in one place. What, did the producers set down and say, “lets come up with a show that will make Christians look stupid cause they got that one coming?” What a sad turn of programing.

  15. Wildern
    Tennessee
    September 16, 2013, 5:56 pm

    If any of you people actually watched the show, you would see they do not condemn the Christians who do not choose to “take up serpents”. But these Christians in this practice “taking up serpents” as is spoke of in the Bible…”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.” Mark 16:18….So if you are a believer in Christianity, you too shouldn’t judge them for practicing their rights to the same religion. You just choose to avoid that type of Christian Worship as referred to in Mark 16:18.

  16. Wildern
    Tennessee
    September 16, 2013, 6:00 pm

    @Tony
    Some of the Congregations in Kentucky do drink poison often. Possibly in Tennessee too. It is a sad day when you see Christians persecuting other Christians for their understanding and pursuit of the “Word of God”.

  17. Derek
    Terre Haute, IN
    September 17, 2013, 1:41 pm

    They’d have to be considered certifiably insane.

  18. Janet
    Florida
    September 17, 2013, 10:59 pm

    These guys think nothing of breaking the law. Then they pray for God to spare them from prison. Guess they are above the law. Then Little Cody gets bit and they’re so wreckless, they don’t go to the hospital. It’s absolutely so stupid. And that ‘father’ just sits by and let’s himdie because he’s too stubborn. I shake my head at ignorance. They actually thingthey can break laws and be wreckless and continue not being responsible adults and then expect God to help them. Stupidness!

  19. tommie lassiter
    barnhart MISSOURI
    September 17, 2013, 11:05 pm

    THERE IS NO WAY I WOULD GO TO A CHURCH. THAT DOES.I NEVER SEE THEM MINISTERING THE WORD OF GOD FROM THE BIBLE. IS JUMPING AROUND WAVING SNAKES CALLED A CHURCH SERVICE. HOW SAD PEOPLE SPEND THEIR TIME DOING THIS SORT OF FOOLISHNESS.

  20. James
    Kentucky and Georgia
    September 18, 2013, 7:21 am

    When i seen this on tv the passage came to mind ,that says thou shall not tempt the lord thy God,so for me I personally think what they do is wrong.By the mere fact people die ,while doing this is simple proof enough.Everybody can get lucky and not get bit ,some of the time , I was in the Marine corps and I didnt get shot or blown up ,but it dont mean it wont happen.I do find the culture or what i see as a cult of sorts inetresting to watch I do believe its selfish ,when they deprive their families,seems like ,the reason we are here is to help save sinners and preach the word of God and to me ,this is nothing more than a sideshow,and a man with 5 kids an food stamps ,what does that say for what they really believe,they might as well go with the other scripture in the bible and feed themselves with a fish and a loaf a bread.Ones as good as the next verse.

  21. Shelia
    Tennessee
    September 18, 2013, 12:02 pm

    It seems the only reason they go to church is to handle snakes. There’s no preaching of God’s Word, I hear of no good works to help people, no true worship…just the adreneline rush of snake handling to the beat of loud music. The entire service is like sporting event. Jesus didn’t willingly lay down his life so people could handle snakes. These men, and anyone who follow this practice, are deceived. If you have to disobey the law to obtain the snakes to get your adreneline rush, it’s wrong. If you treat your family shabby to get your adreneline rush, it’s wrong. God is not glorified in snake-handling, drinking poison or handling fire. These men are feeling the rush of adreneline, mistaking it for the Holy Spirit. THEY ARE DECEIVED and are actually worshipping the snakes.

  22. Chuck
    Maryland
    September 19, 2013, 7:16 pm

    Believe the Bible reads “Don’t tempt me”… why not stand out on the highway and see which dump truck runs over you…

  23. Lux Ferre
    September 21, 2013, 6:50 pm

    People wonder why America is going downhill. So many of these imbeciles are on welfare. In an era of technology, the contribute NOTHING to the progress of the country. They should be prosecuted for animal cruelty, welfare fraud, and then put in jail where these guys will be forced to handle black and white “snakes.” They’ll be getting some serpents slithering right up their cornholes, but then again, they’re probably used to that already.

  24. Jackie
    September 21, 2013, 9:29 pm

    Anybody can do anything they want in the name of religion. Look at all the child molesters that the catholic church hid, protected and covered up. This ‘snake church’ only has about 8 members. These people need money and want publicity. I don’t understand how they ever got on National Geographic. Churches are non profit, that is why there are so many small neighborhood churches popping up everywhere, and everybody is a pastor, preacher, deacon, doctor, or whatever. People have a right to believe in any sort of religion or worship, whoever or whatever they want, even if it is a tree, rock, or whatever. There is no Right religion or Right god that everyone Must believe in. To each his own. I just can’t believe in a book or manual that was written, interpreted, and enforced by white men, making them superior and controlling over women or anyone else, that has a hold over so many people for so many years. What ridiculous brainwashing. Women always have been and always will be equal, if not superior to men. There is nothing holy about any bible, book, or god, which is intended and encouraged to disgrace, shame, inflict pain, humiliate, and dominate women or anyone else. It is all blasphemy.

  25. Tina
    London
    September 23, 2013, 11:48 pm

    These people have completely taken the scripture out of context. And they are tempting the Lord thy God. I’m afraid they will have a rude awakening one of these days. What’s even more sad, they are letting their children do this, I think cps should step in.

  26. Donna
    United States
    September 24, 2013, 7:47 pm

    whether or not you are a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, or atheist, we are guaranteed the right to practice our religion. That being said, as a society we do have laws. I don’t agree with the churches breaking laws and endangering the congregation in the process. But, as far as I’m concerned, it is their right. They should be forced to acquire exotic animal permits and comply with all animal husbandry regulations. As far as the other commenters on here, please remember that to them, your religion is lacking and they are praying for you. As for me, I can guarantee I’ll never darken their doorway, but will defend their right to worship as they choose…

  27. Jesus
    Heaven
    September 24, 2013, 8:53 pm

    Stop killing snakes. Idiots.

  28. Jesus
    Heaven
    September 24, 2013, 8:57 pm

    Pasture???

  29. Loki
    Illinois
    September 24, 2013, 9:40 pm

    These “snake handlers” are, unfortunately, doing what so many others have done for centuries and continue to do today. They take a verse or part of a verse out of context to “prove” their point or justify their actions. It is, for me, a quandary. How does a person or persons who profess to believe in the Christian Bible, often times literally, set aside so easily the Old Testament? It is OK, to handle snakes but stone an adulterer? Condemn the Gay and Lesbian population and yet eat shell fish? The Old Testament of the Christian Bible is approximately 78% of the total context of the Christian Bible and yet, in some very sick irony, Christians are instructed to discount that 78%, except, perhaps to use it as a “history of mankind” and that only the remaining 22% is the instruction booklet on how to live your life. Some days that makes me glad to be Jew.

  30. Wade Ballard
    Iowa
    September 24, 2013, 10:20 pm

    Though I think it’s reckless and down right insane to handle Poisonous snakes in such a fashion, truth is I greatly admire their faith and am a believer that, in/of G_d any and all things are possible! Just watched the newest episodes in which young Cooty is bitten and is nearly recovered in a few short weeks (3-5) and found it facinating. I know by training and experience that evenomation by a large CottonMouth is nearly always Serious and generally leads to at minimum loss of tissue at and around the bite site and frequently significant deformation, permanent nerve and muscle damage. I was truly amazed at how little the kid really suffered and how quickly he showed appreciable signs of recovery, with what appears to be minimal residule. Call it DUMB LUCK or help from a higher authority, regardless it very rarely turns out so well.

  31. Mike
    Harlan, KY
    September 24, 2013, 10:20 pm

    I pastored a JESUS ONLY church for around 13 years. As I watched Pastor Andrew Hamblin, (SLAIN IN THE SPIRIT); I agree I have felt that same power, although I never handled snakes in my Church, there is a GREAT POWER OF GOD and I felt that Power of God from Pastor Hamblin. May the Lord Bless him and his Church, I feel he is HONEST in his heart and has the True Power of God in his Life and Spirit.

  32. Joe
    Az
    September 24, 2013, 10:26 pm

    what I know is that these people are on welfare and doing a TV show If the two Christians believe it a lot then they don’t need help from other people Lord will provide , That’s what they’re saying

  33. Jesus
    Michigan
    September 27, 2013, 12:03 pm

    @Joe from AZ
    We’ll put my son. We’ll put.

  34. Jesus
    Michigan
    September 27, 2013, 12:08 pm

    @ Mike from KY
    Next time you are moved by Andy Hamblin acting like a fool, please stick your head in a deep fryer.

  35. Karen
    The great north
    September 27, 2013, 1:57 pm

    God bless these people for following their Lord as they see fit. Shame on those who judge them. More people die from car accidents(by an enormous amount) every year – not to mention the last 100 years. Are we then not “tempting” God every time we get in a car? Looks like snake handling is way safer than driving. Those who criticize another’s walk with the Lord need to look at themselves and stop judging others.

  36. Jacky
    Easley SC
    September 29, 2013, 9:26 am

    I think they NEED to READ and Live by the Entire Bible, not just one verse that has beeb MISUNDERSTOOD scince it was translated from its’ original text. Go bac to the original writtings of the scripture . You will be surprized in the REAL context of it.
    I believe the state should forbid all the minors from the church,because the parents are exposing them to a dangerous environment.
    As for the Preacherman that said,”he chooses God first then his family. well I think his wife should just LEAVE. Who will cook and clean for you then ,big boy. The way I understand him is he is saying that God is not anywhere but his type of belief. God is EVERYWHERE and is known by many names. I have no problem in how a person believes or worships the LORD thy GOD,as long as they ARE worshiping God and not some type of idol (including snakes. In Genesis GOD cursed the SERPENT for all eternity,and now it seems to be the right thing to do is to worship with a serpent the GOD himself cursed at the beginning of time. They need to READ and LIVE by the ENTIRE Bible,not just a verse or two.It’s like I read in another comment,God isn’t mentioned a lot in their services, just a bunch of yelling and loud music. It’s no wonder the snakes don’t bite more often,they are scared.
    They are always looking for poisonious snakes. They have SO much trust and faith, why don’t they get a Black Mamba or King Cobra.
    The one preacher talks about a friend of his tha left him his snake box. I think his name was Pumpkin. Had he not been playing with snakes, he just might still be alive.
    This part is for the preacher that choose snake handling over his wife. Seems to me that she has more faith in the Living God than you do. Yes God is in everyones heart you just have to seek him out. God is in every Christian church, not just those of the snake handlers. So wise up preacher, do you wanna die from a snake bite or live with a loving wife and watch your children grow up and have grandchildren to enjoy.
    I don’t know the number of people that die annually from worshiping with serpents, Had they not been doing that, don’t you think the would still be alive to enjoy their families!!!!!!!!

  37. Willy
    sd
    October 1, 2013, 8:29 pm

    I think they should play Russian roulette with a single shot

  38. Desiree Cox
    Michigan
    October 2, 2013, 12:36 pm

    That verse says to take up serpents, all snakes are serpents therefore they could handle non-venomous snakes. It doesn’t say take up vipers, it says serpents. Vipers are venomous. So they could still obey the word of God and use non-venomous serpents.

  39. holly Catkiss
    October 4, 2013, 7:30 am

    @Jacky you said you have no problem in how a person believes or worships the lord thy god as long as they are worshiping god and not some idol. Hmmm, what about all the non-Christian religions like hinduism and Paganism? Don’t they deserve to worship as they please?

  40. mike
    ga
    October 5, 2013, 7:13 pm

    Love the show.

  41. sam
    Louisiana
    October 10, 2013, 10:48 am

    We have countless numbers of Pentecostals in Louisiana and I have never seen or heard of any Pentecostals taking up serpents and dancing with fire. I am very interested in where they pull dancing with fire from scripture.

  42. Eddie
    Canton, NC
    October 11, 2013, 10:31 am

    Other than the obvious, the thing that really strikes me as odd is the fact that these people are never shown at work. Beyond a verse in Mark 16 there are plenty of scriptual references dealing with working. Are these people all on welfare? My guess is that they are on government assistance. However, I do support their right to practice their religion openly and legally. If they would just pick up a shovel or a broom with the same faith that they pick up the snakes.

  43. Sam
    Eden Prairie, MN
    October 11, 2013, 12:32 pm

    Lets goo!!!!!! That guy definitely pulls the hillbilly bitches

  44. Jake
    Los Angeles
    October 11, 2013, 5:39 pm

    First of all, altar boys have been handling trouser snakes for years in the Catholic Church. I find the show hilarious and if one of these dumbasses gets bit well too bad. DARWINISM at work. What pisses me off is the Nat Geo doesn’t show everything. Do they expect people to believe that one of them gets bitten by a poisonous snake and nothing happens. I know they can’t legally show a snuff film but other idiots are going to believe this crap and start picking up snakes because they’ll believe nothing will happen to them. I wish the bible would have a passage saying, “And everyday upon rising from slumber, thou shall play Russian roulette with a semi-automatic handgun, which hast been fully loaded and chambered.” Aaaaaaaaaamen.

  45. me
    United States
    October 24, 2013, 5:26 pm

    this show sucks and the characters are not likable. the only reason to watch this show is the off chance that one of these religious fanatics gets bit.

  46. Cameron
    October 29, 2013, 3:43 pm

    Yet another worthless reality tv show. I am extremely disappointed what national geographic has turned into. All these channels that used to actually be good are turning to the stupidest crap ever. Screw all of your reality tv shows.

  47. colleen souza
    california
    November 5, 2013, 2:23 pm

    Sorry to say they need to reread the bible they’re putting themselves in danger god will protect you from any danger that comes along he does’nt want you go looking for it.

    http://www.gotquestions.org/snake-handling.html

  48. Victor Herrmann
    Tampa Bay
    November 6, 2013, 12:34 pm

    Too bad the series lacked anything on conversation and how endangered these snakes are becoming. That seems to matter little because of fear of snakes. Though without a doubt more are maimed and killed by pitt bull mutts monthly then snake bites all year nationwide.
    In this series we see the snakes don’t live very long. The conditions they live under are not anything you would see at at a professional herpetologist or zoos collection. The snakes are being wasted. They are not fed, given water, proper cages with light. They are weak, and dying of stress no wonder they don’t bite or show more vigor, they can’t. This sadly is cruelty to animals and snakes play a important part of the ecosystem rather you like them or not in controlling rodents. On one episode they showed the snakes with scale rot which kills them dead and is a sign of a ignorant irresponsible keeper who shouldn’t have anything to do with a living animal.
    One day these snakes will be extinct they have a hard time finding them in the wild now for the 12 or wks they live once caught. These snakes should and could live for yrs if properly cared for by not back woods dregs of society. But they would be more vigorous and bite quicker not dying slugs.
    Notice how these unemployed preachers and the small outcast of a flock never work but always have money to drive thousands of miles to hunt for another cottonmouth? The one dude is 22 with a wife of 21 and 5 kids but as well as a new vehicle but he doesn’t have a job yet 500 bucks every time you turn around to buy more copperheads or rattlesnakes in South Carolina.
    “We done only catch the males to leave some breeding stock ” states one redneck moron preacher but then screams out “the mother lode” and collects every copperhead he sees the next minute. The mother lode will be gone and these hicks can maybe use the plentiful rats in future sermons to handle. They are too stupid to catch a rat to try and feed to a snake in a proper enclosure anyway.
    Pure ignorance its too bad conservation was covered as a epilogue by what was a notable network (National Geo) until this sort of trash started airing

  49. Malcolm conteh
    November 12, 2013, 12:18 pm

    The work of illuminaty to jeopardize Christianity. To u my brothers and sisters in Christ u need to stand strong in Christ Jesus as the end time is near.

  50. Craig Milliman
    Perry
    January 24, 2014, 7:09 pm

    Where are the poison drinking churches?

  51. […] a snake bite after refusing medical treatment. Coots, who was one two snake handling pastors in the National Geographic (NatGeo) Channel series Snake Salvation which followed the antics religious practices of Coots and Andrew Hamblin. Coots’ grandfather […]

  52. […] and feel strongly they are exercising their religious freedom as assured by the Constitution," said series executive producer Matthew Testa in a Nat Geo Television post promoting the premiere. "They […]

  53. Barry
    February 17, 2014, 3:31 am

    How can national geo have anything to do with these mad fuckers. Are you serious?

  54. Torsten
    Germany
    February 17, 2014, 2:13 pm

    This Pastor is now 100% in Hell where he belongs for teaching Lies and for the Murder of Members of his Congregation who also were killed by his perverse Snake Circus Show.
    Jesus Christ commanded us “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord”
    When i put myself deliberately in Danger and then expect God to protect me then this is tempting the Lord.
    Jesus NEVER said he would protect you from Snake Bites.
    Taking up serpents refers to one of the “Signs of an Apostel” (2Cor12:12) promised to the Apostles as Confirmation of the “Word” of the Resurrection.
    ONLY Jesus Christ is GOD
    Therfore it was a extremly great EXCEPTION that God himself Jesus Christ allowed the Apostles to do Miracles
    The sole purpose of this Exception was to confirm the WORD
    That Jesus rose from the dead.
    True Tongues was NEVER a Gibberish.
    True Tongues was a Prophecy in “our Tongues” eg Greek (Acts 2) sometimes someone had the Tongue as Mothertongue(this was the case “Interpretor present”)
    Sometimes no one had the right Mothertongue(this was the case “unknown tongue”but even then the Speaker himself knew it was a real Language,because he had seen how sometimes on other occasions someone happened to be there with the right Mothertongue and because he himseld did not intend to speak and so he knew God had done a Miracle and his Faith was edified.
    True Tongues came unexpecedly according to sovereign wull of God (2Peter 1:21)
    Just like by King Saul in 1 Samuel 10:6 who prohesied unexpectedly.
    The demonic Gibberish of Pentecostal-Cult is the exact opposit and come exclusivly according to Will of Man.
    The poor deceived Pentecostal can do his Gibberish wheever he feels like doing it purely by will of MAN
    Pentecostals cannot do REAL Miracle.
    What could be more perverse than playing with Snakes?
    Such “Pastorrs” are themselves the Snakes.

  55. Helmut
    Germany
    February 17, 2014, 3:12 pm

    Why can’t these Deceivers do real Miracles like healing the Lame?

    These Deceivers are not Christians

  56. Jacob
    Illinois
    February 21, 2014, 9:40 pm

    If Paul was still around, I wonder what he would say in his letter to the church of the people in Tennessee. These people read the Bible literally, and if you read one part like that, that means you also need a fence on your roof. Deuteronomy 22:8

  57. […] feel strongly they are exercising their religious freedom as guaranteed by the Constitution,” said series executive producer Matthew Testa in a Nat Geo TV post promoting the premiere. “They […]

  58. jim.
    HARLAN
    October 1, 2014, 12:17 pm

    I DON’T NO ABOUT TAKING UP SNAKES AND KNOWING THAT THEY ARE GOING TO BIT YOU AND KILL YOU BUT YOU SAY THAT GOD GIVES YOU THE POWER TO DO SO..WHY TEST GODS POWER??

  59. Virginia Rossouw
    South Africa
    February 15, 2015, 5:30 pm

    As a born again believer,all I can say, is ‘Lord,have mercy. What are you teaching your minor children,should they accidently come across a snake outside of church? And what are you doing to the gospel Jesus wants us to carry? I know a pastor with 4 years old diabetic twins. He decided to no longer administer the medication(prescribed by a specialist God gave the education to),and both children slipped into a coma,almost lost their lives. I do believe in miracles,but we need to trust God according to His commands,and apply intellect too. I agree with jim. God has NOTHING to prove. Check the condition our globe is in,read the book of Daniel,Revelations,watch programs like Al Jazeera,read the papers with your Bible next to it,and prepare your congregation accordingly. There is NOT ONE THING not manifesting,God taught us about. ‘Lord,please give us the wisdom we need to honor you with integrity,and not bring in false doctrines’. I love you with the love of Christ. Please get busy in the vineyard.

  60. Nickolaus Pacione
    United States
    July 26, 2015, 4:47 pm

    As a Christian I find what you’re doing dangerous as I had read about this please let the wild remain wild because I had read about what these snakes can do. Educate yourself on biology (Herpetology) which is the science of reptiles and relatives of the frogs. Study that and you will know more about that as God gave us intellect to educate ourselves on this. God has nothing to prove like what the guy above me said — as a horror author, my job is to research the fucked up shit. There is no way around how fucked up this is — getting bit then praying for the venom to leave you or have no effect on you. Demise comes fast and one sees their flesh turn black because that shit eats away at the inside.