Serpent-Handling Pastor Dies of Snake Bite
Without comment, we present the story of a charismatic serpent-handling West Virginia preacher who died Sunday -- after he was bitten by one of the rattle snakes he was handling during his church service.
44 year old Rev. Mack Wolford was a flamboyant Pentecostal pastor who was well known for using poisonous snakes in his church services. He had been been bitten a number of times, but he always recovered, until this past Sunday.
About 30 minutes into the service, Wolford passed a rattlesnake around to several church members. A witness said he then laid the snake out on the ground and sat down next to it, when it bit him on the thigh.
Wolford was taken to a relative's house to recover, but when his condition got progressively worse, he was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Ironically, Wolford's father was a Pentecostal minister who also died of a rattlesnake bite in 1983, in almost identical circumstances.
Snake handlers believe the Bible requires Christians to handle serpents as a test of their faith in God — and if they are bitten, they trust in God alone to heal them. It's illegal in some states because it's such a clearly dangerous practice.