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.
- Snake Salvation: Snake Salvation, Appalachian HuntIn 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 Godâ€™s power. If they donâ€™t practice the ritual of snake handling, they believe they are destined for hell. Hunting the surrounding mountains for deadly serpents and maintaining their churchâ€™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.
- Snake Salvation: Snake Salvation, Tricks of The TradeWith the onset of fall and wild snakes hibernating below ground, pastors Andrew Hamblin and Jamie Coots are forced to obtain their deadly, venomous serpents by other means. The men travel to Repticon, a huge snake expo in Columbia, South Carolina, to purchase new snakes for their congregation. Jamie brings newborn rattlesnakes from his church that he will use to trade in for larger snakes at the expo. But Andrew is forced to pawn his prized electric guitar to get money to buy his snakes. The pastors compete head to head at the expo to see who will leave with the most serpents.
- Snake Salvation: Snake Salvation, Smoke 'em OutDue to an unusually long winter in Appalachia, Pastor Jamie Coots' snake supply is running dangerously low. He hatches an ambitious but risky plan to travel all the way to Texas, hoping that he and his gang can hunt down some deadly western diamondback rattlers. They face a possibly fatal bite far from home for the one chance this month to stock up on snakes. In Tennessee, Pastor Andrew Hamblin adds a new specimen to his snake collection: a very rare, albino western diamondback. Andrew must decide whether to take up the deadly albino snake in service or leave it safely in its protective cage._x000D_
- Snake Salvation: Snake Salvation, Courting DisasterJamie Coots, his son Little Cody" and their good friend Kenny Stewart are caught transporting three diamond back rattlers and two copperheads at a routine traffic stop near Knoxville Tennessee. The trio just paid $800.00 for their snakes only to have them along with their carry boxes confiscated by the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency. But it gets even worse: the three are prosecuted by the state DA's office with the threat of jail time for possessing and transporting illegal snakes. Over in Lafollette Tennessee Brett makes a surprise visit to Andrew's church and experiences a service. But Brett's first impressions of a snake handling church might not be what Pastor Andrew wants to hear.
- Snake Salvation: Snake Salvation, Courting DisasterJamie Coots, his son "Little Cody", and their good friend Kenny Stewart are caught transporting three diamond back rattlers and two copperheads at a routine traffic stop near Knoxville, Tennessee. The trio just paid $800.00 for their snakes, only to have them, along with their carry boxes, confiscated by the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency. But it gets even worse: the three are prosecuted by the state DA's office with the threat of jail time for possessing and transporting illegal snakes. Over in Lafollette Tennessee, as much as pastor Andrew Hamblin would like to concentrate on his weekend services, snake husbandry calls. The Hamblin family drives to a pet store in Knoxville to buy some mice and rats for Andrew's snakes. At the store, Andrew does some missionary work and asks pet store clerk Brett Manzo to come by and check out his church service some time. The college student is a snake enthusiast, and says he'll try to swing by. Sure enough the next day, Brett makes a surprise visit to Andrew's church and experiences a service. But Brett's first impressions of a snake handling church might not be what Pastor Andrew wants to hear.
- Snake Salvation: Snake Salvation, BackslidingPastor Jamie Coots' daughter Trina has quit the church after divorcing her husband.1 On top of that, she is now defying the church dress code by wearing pants and makeup2. In all of her 21 years, Trina3 has never stopped going to church and Jamie and Linda are worried she is too vulnerable to the devil's temptations. Believing his daughter is on the path to hell4, Jamie turns to desperate measures. He attempts to reconnect with Trina by bringing her on the first snake hunt of the season. But catching venomous copperheads is not for the inexperienced. Meanwhile in Tennessee, it is Pastor Andrew Hamblin's 22nd birthday5, an age he never expected to reach. Several years ago, in his darkest hour, Andrew attempted suicide. The gun failed and, according to Andrew, God spared him.6 Now he has devoted his entire life to serving the Lord and preaching the practice of snake handling. Desperate for more serpents, Andrew heads into a treacherous part of the forest, hoping to find a snake before a bear finds him.
- Snake Salvation: Snake Salvation, Devil Fights Your Mind, TheIf he can't attend service regularly, Holiness church member Big" Cody Wynn knows he is only one phone call away from backsliding into his former life as a drug dealer and convicted felon. He says he's been arrested 27 times and spent twelve months incarcerated at the Harlan County Detention Center. By following the Five Signs listed in the Gospel of Mark he is able to stay on the difficult and narrow path towards sobriety and spiritual salvation.
- Snake Salvation: Snake Salvation, Venom In The VeinsTwelve hours after a near-fatal bite from a cottonmouth viper, Little Cody Coots is on the mend. While writhing in pain through the night, Little Cody was prayed over by his loyal father, snake handling pastor Jamie Coots, and friends "Big Cody Wynn" and Pastor Andrew Hamblin. All believe that one of their prayers "got through to God" and led to the miraculous healing of their friend. Now, against his wife's wishes, Little Cody is back to snake hunting in the Louisiana bayou. After catching several more venomous snakes, the hunters count their blessings and head back to Tennessee. As word spreads back home about Little Cody's bite, a misinformed local newspaper seeks to report that someone was bitten in Andrew's church.1 If local police catch wind of the story, Andrew's church could be shut down.
- Snake Salvation: Snake Salvation, Temptation of The FleshSix years ago, Pastor Andrew Hamblin was on his way to becoming a famous banjo player. At the ripe age of 15, Andrew was playing on the main stages of Nashville and Dollywood with some of greatest bluegrass musicians of all time. But his meteoric rise as a performer coincided with a life of sin, including underage drinking and exposure to drugs backstage. It was a brief conversation with his musical idol, mandolin legend Ricky Skaggs, that changed his life forever. Ricky, a Baptist evangelist who also spreads the word of Jesus, asked Andrew a simple question: "Do you want to be rich and famous or do you want to follow God?" In his heart, young Andrew knew the answer - he had to follow God. On that day, Andrew quit playing the banjo and started serving God. He has not played a single note of bluegrass since. In fact, Andrew believe he is forbidden from listening to any non-religious music. But an impulsive purchase of a banjo has Andrew reconsidering his decision to trade fame for faith. Meanwhile, Pastor Jamie Coots has his own problems. He owes his snake dealer, Taz, $800 and his wife Linda needs money to pay the family bills. Taz will accept snakes as payment, so Jamie is on the hunt to find $800 worth of venomous snakes, ASAP. A snake hunt in South Carolina will determine if he can keep his snake dealer-and his wife-happy!
- Snake Salvation: Snake Salvation, Casting Out DemonsAfter an awful service where no one participates, pastor Andrew Hamblin suspects the devil is trying to steal away his congregation. Fearing his church is in trouble, Andrew meets with a local prophetess, Michelle Grey, who confirms that, "A storm is coming... and it's going try to split us all up." To face the storm head on, Andrew calls for a revival, a special type of service meant to cast out evil spirits. But the young pastor will have to battle his own demons before he can attempt to face the devil head-on. Meanwhile in Kentucky, Little Cody cares for his pet copperhead viper as if it was his pet puppy. Cody has a strong affinity for his reptiles. Unlike his father, he treats the snakes not just as religious objects, but as a part of the family. For Cody, snake handling and snake hunting is just plain fun. And it's that attitude that leads to his reckless behavior and another close call with a snake in the wild.
- Snake Salvation: Snake Salvation, Outlaw ReligionSnake-handling pastor Andrew Hamblin preaches under a cloud of fear every day. The state of Tennessee could haul him off to jail any moment because it is illegal to handle snakes. Since Andrew opened his church a year ago, local officials have refrained from giving him any problems, but if someone were to get bitten during a service, Andrew's church could be shut down. Vowing to change the state law, Andrew will go before the local county commission to plead his case. With their support, he could then approach the state legislature. The pastor pounds the pavement and starts a petition asking local voters to support his cause. Even though he finds enthusiastic support from the community, the board ultimately votes against the initiative. But there is a silver lining; some people who sign Andrew's petition decide to attend his church service. They enjoy the service and say they will return for more. Ultimately, Andrew decides to continue to defy state law and handle deadly serpents in church. In Middlesboro Kentucky, Pastor Jamie Coots has a pet project on his hands- one of his young church members, Nathan Evans, comes from five generations of snake handlers, but he's a little nervous around snakes. Pastor Jamie decides to bring Nathan up to speed with his snake handling skills-first by trying to teach him how to skin dead snakes. When that proves unsuccessful, Jamie tries to teach him the fine art of snake hunting-but Nathan fails to catch a single snake. Jamie finally decides to pay a visit to Nathan in his hometown. After a visit to the gravesite of his snake handling ancestors near Jolo, West Virginia, Nathan realizes the importance of carrying on the snake handling tradition. At Jamie's next service, Nathan seems like a changed man ready to handle snakes and preach God's word.
- Snake Salvation: Snake Salvation, Sin Or SerpentsDivorce is considered a sin in the Holiness faith, and remarriage is not allowed. To her family's dismay, 21-year-old Trina Coots has divorced her husband of five months and abandoned the church where her father Jamie Coots pastors. She no longer attends weekly services or plays the piano and sings near the pulpit. Pastor Coots reminds Trina she will die lost and go to hell if she remarries. To take her mind off her personal life, Jamie takes Trina on a snake hunt and they snag a yellow rattlesnake on the road, her first-ever catch. Venturing into the Kentucky wilderness, Pastor Andrew Hamblin hunts and catches a copperhead snake during a thunderstorm, then barters with Jamie to buy ten copperheads and a pygmy rattler. Realizing her true place is with her family, Trina ultimately returns to church and weeps when Jamie hands her the rattlesnake they caught together on the hunt. With his daughter back in church and living right, Jamie feels her soul is saved and his family restored._x000D_
- Snake Salvation: Snake Salvation, Bitten In ChurchThe foundation of Jamie's church is shaken when a copperhead bites his father, Greg Pap-paw" Coots. Pap-paw is the elder of the church and the congregation's connection to the historic tradition of snake handling. Though 61 years old
- Snake Salvation: Snake Salvation, Tempted By The DevilHoliness follower and pastor's son Little Cody Coots is barely making ends meet. Laid off from the coal mines, he grapples with taking a job in the oil fields or even returning to his former life as a drug dealer, in order to provide for his family. But followers of the Holiness faith like Little Cody believe they must prioritize God, Family, and Job in that order. Leaving town for work would mean being away from his family's church. He would be putting job before God and that would surely result in him misbehaving, backsliding and losing his way. Family friend Big Cody Wynn takes him metal scrapping to make some extra money, and they put a custom Jeep to the test trying to dislodge a buried car from a riverbank, but will the money be enough to keep Little Cody in church? In Tennessee, Pastor Andrew Hamblin acquires a massive six-foot long rattlesnake and affectionately names him Tiny." Whether Andrew has the courage to handle this enormous snake in service remains to be seen.
- Snake Salvation: Snake Salvation, Lethal PoisonPastor Hamblin returns to his roots to visit the grandparents who raised him. But his once proud family is now deeply troubled by Andrew's obsession with snake handling. Andrew struggles to win the approval of his grandparents, while raising his own children in a controversial faith. Meanwhile, Big Cody and Little Cody mix up a batch of poison to test the Biblical sign: If they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them."
- Snake Salvation: Snake Salvation, Deadly LegacyConcerned about who would succeed him if he were to die of a snake bite, Jamie Coots wants his son, Little Cody, to begin preparing to become a pastor. But Little Cody doesn't yet want the responsibility. Nor does Jamie feel he is ready. Little Cody is too hot under the collar when it comes to church doctrine. He'll need to learn to be more compassionate to church members if he's going to become a pastor. Meanwhile in Tennessee, Pastor Andrew's close friend, Daniel Powers, is at risk of backsliding. A former drug addict who found salvation through snake handling, Daniel has been missing church services. Hoping he can reach his friend in time, Andrew plans an outdoor snake handling service - an old church tradition - right on Daniel's lawn._x000D_
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