A Kentucky preacher and reality TV star, whose sermons involved handling of deadly snakes, has died from a snake bite. He refused medical treatment, because he relied on God’s protection to save him from the venom.
Pastor Jamie Coots was found dead at about 10pm EST on Saturday at his house in Middlesboro, Kentucky, local police reported Sunday.
Coots was reportedly bitten on his right hand by a rattlesnake at his church, Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name, Middlesboro Chief of Police Jeffrey Sharpe reported. Emergency workers were called, but the preacher went home before they reached the church.
The medics went to Coots’ house and spent some 30 minutes attempting to persuade him to accept treatment. However his faith included the conviction that God would protect any true believer from snake venom, so he refused medical aid.
“Everybody that knows Mr. Coots knows what his belief is, and he had no intention of going to the hospital,” Sharpe said.
The 42-year-old was found dead by emergency workers, who returned some 60 minutes after departure, police said.
“I liked him a lot. I don’t agree with his interpretation, but you just have to have a tremendous amount of respect for his determination to follow his beliefs. I mean that’s what he believed and he would not step away from it,” Sharpe said.
The pastor’s son Cody Coots said while the family is in shock, they remain strong in their faith.