A Richmond, Kentucky preacher from Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus’ Name church whose father died 4 years earlier from a snake bite during a sermon, also got bitten by a venomous snake himself - during a sermon
Cody Coots, a 4th generation snake-handling preacher, was in the middle of a sermon with a poisonous snake, claiming that he wouldn't get bitten because God was protecting him, was bitten in the temporal artery during a service. Ironically, four years earlier, his father, Jamie Coots, died at the age of 42, was bitten on his hand (also during a sermon). He died within 7 minutes of getting bitten.
Cody, with blood all over his shirt, asked his followers to take him to a mountaintop so that he could let God decide whether he lives or dies... but instead, they took him to the hospital where he was treated.
Churches where preachers practice snake-handling have been around since the late 1800s in the Appalachian Mountains. Unfortunately, this wasn't the first time a snake-handling preacher was bitten by a venomous snake. In 2015, David Brock, 60-years-old, died at a Pentecostal Church in Kentucky after being bitten during a sermon. In 2012, 44-year-old pastor Mack Randall Wolford was bitten by a timber rattlesnake in West Virginia, also during a sermon.
What usually happens during a 'snake-handling' sermon?
During a typical Sunday service which can last over one to 5 hours, members of the church are usually invited to walk up to the stage to do dangerous stunts, like drinking poison, play with fire, and you guessed it, handle snakes when you're feeling the spirit. The dress code typically is somewhat conservative for women. Make-up and trousers are discouraged, instead, skirts are usually preferred. Only men are allowed to preach during a sermon. However, women are allowed to handle snakes and participate in the churches other stage activities previously mentioned.