National Geographic reports…
“In the hills of Appalachia, Pentecostal pastors Jamie Coots and Andrew Hamblin struggle to keep an over-100-year-old tradition alive: the practice of handling deadly snakes in church.
Jamie and Andrew believe in a bible passage that suggests a poisonous snakebite will not harm them as long as they are anointed by God’s power. If they don’t practice the ritual of snake handling, they believe they are destined for hell.
Hunting the surrounding mountains for deadly serpents and maintaining their church’s snake collection is a way of life for both men. The pastors must frequently battle the law, a disapproving society, and even at times their own families to keep their way of life alive.”