Illinois Public Media News

NPR - Illinois Public Media News - October 04, 2013

Snake-Handling Preachers Open Up About ‘Takin’ Up Serpents’

By John Burnett

Andrew Hamblin preaches while holding a snake above his head, LaFollette, Tenn.

Snake handlers dwell at the edge of the spiritual frontier — a community of people who are willing to die for their faith three times a week in church. Members of the Pentecostal Holiness Church take up venomous serpents to prove their faith in God. The practice is still widespread in Appalachia, though mostly hidden.











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