Snake-Handling Preacher's Faith Rattled After Poisonous Snake Bite Reminds Him of Dad's Death

Cody Coots
Cody Coots, 21, is recovering from a rattlesnake bite less than four months after his father died when he was bitten by a rattlesnake. (WYMT)

Less than four months after losing his father to a snake bite, Cody Coots was bitten by a 6-foot rattlesnake on Monday.

Coots' father, Jamie Coots, was pastor of the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name in Middlesboro, Kentucky, when he died within minutes of being bitten by a rattlesnake during a church service.

"I was really scared at first, thinking, 'Dad just died, I'm hoping and praying I don't die here,' " Coots told WYMT.

The snake that bit Cody Coots, who took over his father's pastoring duties, was even bigger than the one that killed the elder Coots.

"All I could think about—am I going to make it?" recalled Cody Coots, according to Lexington Herald-Leader.

The snake-handling preacher remembered his late father's instructions not to panic after a bite and tried to stay calm. The bite swelled and made him vomit repeatedly. After Coots refused to go to the hospital, family and friends prayed for healing for hours.

"For a rattler bite, it wasn't bad at all," the 21-year-old said.

This is the first time he has been bitten by a rattlesnake, but he's suffered at least five other bites by cottonmouth snakes, Daily News reports.

"It shook me, but it didn't scare me," Coots said. "So we'll stick pick them, with the Lord's will."

Coots is a fourth-generation snake-handler who succeeded his father as pastor of Full Gospel Tabernacle after Jamie Coots, 42, died on Feb. 15.

The elder Coots appeared in a National Geographic television show titled Snake Salvation about Pentecostal preachers who defy the law to use serpents as part of their religious services.

Snake-handling, which is illegal in most places, is practiced as a test of faith and guided by the theory that true believers will not be harmed.

It is particularly popular in parts of Appalachia. Middlesboro lies near the junction of Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee and is about 60 miles north of Knoxville, Tennessee.

Appearing last year on ABC's Nightline, Jamie Coots said he had been bitten nine times, including once that cost him a part of a finger.


To contact us or to submit an article, click here.


Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.

Five ways to deepen your relationship with God, increase your faith and save money!

  • Deepen Your Relationship with God with a FREE eCourse: Click Here to view all of our free e-Courses. Favorite topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
  • Super Discounts and Close-Out Specials: Click Here to view all our bundles and close-out specials and save up to 86%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, the Supernatural and more.
  • God Wants to Anoint Women Now: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
  • Change Your Atmosphere and Circumstances Through Prayer! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.
  • HUGE Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!

Subscription Special: Subscribe to Charisma for Only $24.97 and get a free gift. With your subscription, you'll receive Born For Significance by best-selling author Bill Johnson. View Offer

Attention Pastors and Leaders: Leadership training and development are crucial for success. Enroll in a FREE 1-hour leadership mini-course by Dr. Mark Rutland. View Details

Charisma News - Informing believers with news from a Spirit-filled perspective