Snakes Again Prove Deadly in Church

John David Brock was handling the snake during Kentucky service
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 28, 2015 12:44 PM CDT
Snakes Again Prove Deadly in Church
In this May 6, 2012, file photo, Kentucky pastor Jamie Coots sings while holding a rattlesnake during services at the Tabernacle Church of God in Tennessee on May 6, 2012.   (AP Photo/The Tennessean, Shelley Mays)

A man has died from a snake bite suffered during a church service, says a Kentucky sheriff's office. The Bell County Sheriff's Department said yesterday that 60-year-old John David Brock of Stoney Fork was handling the snake during a Sunday service at a Pentecostal church in Jenson. Authorities say Brock was bitten on his left arm and refused medical treatment. The sheriff's office says Brock went to his brother's home, where he later died; the local coroner pronounced Brock dead. It's not without precedent in Kentucky, where last year a pastor died after being bitten; his son was bitten just months later, but survived after refusing treatment. Snake handling at religious services is most common in Southern Appalachian states, taking its basis from a passage in the Gospel of Mark. (More snake bite stories.)

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