After Pastor Killed by Snake, Son Gets Bitten
'It wasn't bad at all,' says Cody Coots
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted May 28, 2014 12:02 PM CDT
In this May 6, 2012 file photo, Jamie Coots sings holding a rattlesnake at Tabernacle Church of God in LaFollette, Tenn. Coots died of a snakebite, and son Cody Coots was recently bitten.   (AP Photo/The Tennessean, Shelley Mays)

(Newser) – Today in potentially lethal family businesses we have the case of Cody Coots, a 21-year-old Kentuckian and fourth-generation snake handler who is recovering from, well, a rattlesnake bite he suffered Monday—just three months after his father famously died of a snakebite. It seems Jamie Coots' death did little to diminish his son's enthusiasm for handling snakes, and the younger Coots in fact took over as pastor of the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name church. Cody Coots was checking on the snakes he keeps at his mother's house; a 6-footer "lunged and bit him on the index finger of his right hand," reports the Lexington Herald-Leader. "He's a brute of a rattlesnake," says a family friend and fellow minister.

Like his father, Cody Coots declined a trip to seek medical attention. "I told the Lord that I wouldn't go to the hospital," he says. The family instead sent out a call for prayer, and Coots pulled through without losing consciousness. "The Lord really come by in that house," says the friend. Adds Coots, who is the veteran of five other snakebites, albeit all cottonmouths, "For a rattler bite, it wasn't bad at all." And he's still not backing away from the reptiles: "If the Lord moves, we'll handle 'em. It's the word of the Lord." Click for more on what drives snake handlers.