‘Snake Salvation’ Reality Star Dies of Snake Bite

'Snake Salvation' Reality Star Dies of

Jamie Coots, a Pentacostal preacher at a snake-handling church in Middleboro, Ky. who was featured on the Nat Geo TV series “Snake Salvation,” died Saturday after being bitten by a snake and refusing medical treatment.

Coots (pictured center) was one of two pastors featured on “Snake Salvation,” about the practice of snake handling at a sect of Christian churches, mostly in Kentucky, Alabama, West Virginia and Tennessee, where worshippers believe faith will protect them from the venom of poisonous snakes.

“Snake Salvation” bowed last year on Nat Geo TV but was not renewed for a second season.

In a statement Sunday, Nat Geo TV said: “In following Pastor Coots for our series ‘Snake Salvation,’ we were constantly struck by his devout religious convictions despite the health and legal peril he often faced. Those risks were always worth it to him and his congregants as a means to demonstrate their unwavering faith. We were honored to be allowed such unique access to Pastor Jamie and his congregation during the course of our show, and give context to his method of worship.  Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.”

Coots’ death was reported Sunday by the website of Kentucky’s Lexington-Herald Leader.

Here’s a clip from “Snake Salvation” of Coots talking about the practice of snake handling:


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  1. Religious faith can be a wonderful thing, but it also can be lethal. I cannot begin to understand why people do such extraordinary acts based on a small Bible verse – however, it might be a case of mind-over-matter, bolstered by their extremist beliefs

  2. labman57 says:

    Pastor Coots, your Darwin Award is ready …

  3. Phyllis M. says:

    People are going to get enough of taking what’s in the Bible out of context.

  4. jfk says:

    What a tragic and unforeseeable accident.

    • ThomT says:

      Neither tragic or an accident. Totally preventable and needlessly brought on by stupidity. I’m sure there are those who believed that he “died doing what he believed in” but if he was truly religious he could have lived and done some true good for humanity.

  5. Warren says:

    “Stupid is as stupid does”

  6. occultology says:

    Snake makes Pentecostal Minister shed his own skin!

  7. Tommy G says:

    God made these snakes with deadly poison to be released during a bite, for protection from those who might use or threaten them wrongly… even preachers.

  8. Mjkbk says:

    Further proof that the National Geographic Society is no longer the “scientific”, “educational” institution it would have us believe.

    It’s strictly an infotainment entity, pure and simple.

    RIP for the poor SOB who trusted he could handle snakes with impunity and lack of medical followup.

  9. Steven ASC says:

    This is a headline & story from the Onion, right…

  10. David Peretiatko says:

    He must have died because there weren’t enough people praying for him. I mean, after all, God does heal cancer patients and stuff, right? And when people make it through miraculous surgeries they always thank God, right? So I guess there just weren’t enough people praying for this guy. Or maybe God is still averse to snakes ever since that whole garden of Eden incident lol

  11. Chad says:


  12. desiree says:

    This is ridiculous any person of god wuld know that God sent medicine in the form of plants in order to heal…he could of gotten help…and any sane person would kno the risks of handling snakes….he sent himself to his own death by refusing help….not to smart buddy….yes faith is strong but God sent to us medicine it shuld be used…if he didn’t want to go to doctors I understand but there are other things n nature he culd have gotten to save his life..

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