UPDATE: ‘Snake Salvation’ Star Dead From Snake Bite; NatGeo To Air Tribute Episode

Snake Salvation Jamie Coots DeadUPDATE, 11:15 AM: With the first season fully filmed National Geographic had no plans for a second season of Snake Salvation, says a network rep. Now in the wake of Jamie Coots‘ death NatGeo is working up a special tribute episode “so people can understand Pastor Jamie and his method of worship and see that he died doing what he believed was his calling.” Here’s NatGeo on Coots’ passing:

National Geographic joins his family, friends and community in mourning the loss of Pastor Jamie Coots. 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.

PREVIOUSLY, 9:54 AM: Jamie Coots, one of the stars of National Geographic‘s reality show Snake Salvation, died Saturday of a venomous snake bite. According to reports he refused medical attention after being bitten in his Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name in Middlesboro, Kentucky and died shortly thereafter in his home. The show debuted last Fall centered on two Pentecostal preachers who handle deadly snakes as part of a century-old Appalachian practice originating from a Bible passage that suggests those anointed by God will not be harmed by a poisonous snake bite. Coots had previously been bitten nine times and lost a finger to a rattlesnake bite. He starred on Snake Salvation alongside Tennessee Pastor Andrew Hamblin, both of whom claim serpent handling is their First Amendment religious right. The pair have come under fire from authorities for hunting and collecting deadly snakes for their church services. Last year Coots pled guilty to illegally possessing and transporting three rattlesnakes and two copperheads in Tennessee after the state seized them in a traffic stop as he was driving them from Alabama to Kentucky.

More on Coots from Snake Salvation:

Comments (230)

  • That’s right he was always annoying me so I bit him it’s what I do it’s what God created me to do I bite things and kill them with my poison.

    Comment by The Snake — Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 10:00am PST  
    • I’m Christian. It doesn’t say you should seek out the snakes, because you won’t get bit. The context is, if you have to pick up the snake, because you have no other choice, pray for protection, pick up the snake and set it gently down away from you.

      Otherwise, you die like Steve Irwin. Crikey!!!!

      Comment by tricky dick — Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 12:47pm PST  
      • What passage within the Bible are you referring to?

        Comment by Disgruntled Pragmatic — Monday February 17, 2014 @ 12:30am PST  
        • Mark 16:18

          Comment by jenleigh — Thursday February 20, 2014 @ 8:06pm PST  
      • He’s a victim of Bible fraud. Turns out that the part of the Gospel Mark wasn’t in the canonized version of the work. It was added a few centuries alter by an overzealous monk and has been reprinted ever since. Does National Geographic Channel ever explore this fact? Or is the series like any Fox production with it’s ability to ignore core truths to just exploit the rubes?

        Comment by Joe — Monday February 17, 2014 @ 6:02am PST  
        • “Bible fraud” is redundant.

          Comment by twotimes — Monday February 17, 2014 @ 1:25pm PST  
          • Now that was funny, and true.

            Comment by Bert Elliot — Sunday February 23, 2014 @ 2:29am PST  

      and that is EXACTLY how these A-HOLES kept them in tiny little cages

      just so they could look like magicians to a bunch of COUNTRY BUMPKINS and

      take their money.


      Comment by davidelliott — Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 1:17pm PST  
      • Celebrating the death of someone you don’t even know and who never did anything to you is obnoxious, juvenile, and bad Karma. No doubt you are a liberal, but just because you disagree with someone doesn’t mean they deserve to die.

        Comment by Jim MacDonald — Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 2:46pm PST  
        • Jim,
          Couldn’t he be just obnoxious, ignorant and mind-twisted? He had to be the L-word? He could actually be the C-word, on the extreme. He could even be a tea-bagger. Ignorant is ignorant and callous is callous.

          Comment by Emes — Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 3:46pm PST  
          • You showed ignorance and callousness with the tea-bagger statement. The TEA Party stands for lower taxes and less government. They have no platform on religion, homosexuality, birth control, abortion, etc. Why the demeaning reference?

            Comment by Juvenal — Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 5:17pm PST  
          • And you are about the most Ignorant and crusted over callous asshat that has ever posted on here Enema Emes

            Comment by Taylor — Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 11:20pm PST  
          • “Tea-bagger” is just a “ignorant and callous”.

            Comment by Ed — Monday February 17, 2014 @ 4:27am PST  
          • Emes, I was with you right up to the “teabagger” part. You have put yourself in the same category as you tried, unsuccessfully I might add, tried to put Jim into. Too bad. I thought you had it nailed.

            Comment by Lee — Monday February 17, 2014 @ 4:30am PST  
        • I have protected all good snakes, harmless and serve a perpose. Rattlers kill dogs, pet cats, livestock, cripple or kill humans, nothing they can eat. I have always taken the first bite, since the 1950s, some up to 15 rattles, rocks, mostly shovels, pistols, treelimbs, shotguns, domestic hogs. In my early 20s, young and stupid, I caught them with my hands, they have a way of gaining a half inch and sinking a fang in a finger. Don’t play with them. Preacher could read them, not this one.

          Comment by ditchdigger — Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 9:26pm PST  
        • There is nothing insensitive about his comment … America has just become obsessed with sensitivity. This pastor is an even bigger dumb-a$$ in death than he was in life. He was playing with fire and he got burned … It was bound to happen eventually.

          Comment by Jim in Summerfield — Monday February 17, 2014 @ 4:57am PST  
          • The admiral thing was that he found a cause that he was willing to die for. How many of us can say that? At least he stood for something whether you agree with him or not. A wise man once said, “if one has not found a cause he is willing to die for, he really is not fit to live.”

            Comment by JMac — Thursday February 20, 2014 @ 7:47am PST  
        • I’m saddened for the family. Is there any logic in the world anymore? The snake guys sure took that verse out of context, but another verse I can think of certainly applies to all those reality shows. That being: The love of money is the root of ALL evil. Shame on them for exploiting religion in the name of money. It’s a fact that most often a person will become what they have been taught from childhood. Buddhists are going to be Buddhists, Christians, Christians, Hindus, Hindus, and right down the line. If people could only think for themselves more often. Too, though it grieves me to admit it, I think the good pastor was showboating. I’ve seen it happen a lot. I’ve known pastors who couldn’t get laid normally, go after someone’s wife because he wields a bit of power as a church leader. I better stop before I really go off here.

          Comment by Paul Nesario — Tuesday February 18, 2014 @ 11:22am PST  
      • Your comment doesn’t make sense dummy, you said they never bite when scared hungry or tired.

        Comment by Ace — Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 3:02pm PST  
        • ace — obviously this was a one-in-a-million occurrence.


          Comment by davidelliott — Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 3:45pm PST  
        • Snakes bite when they want to, they have no rules, predatory, defensive, dog days, shedding, vulnerable, they strike. I saw one hit a 20 yr old worker on a blasting job with no effect, His dad forced him to the hospital, nothing. I also was trailing a herd of cattle in tall grass, 30 yrds. ahead, a 1300 pound Bramma cross cow was bit in the chest, had to be a 5ft. snake. She was dead in 2 hours.

          Comment by DSidchdigger — Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 9:55pm PST  
        • No, he said. ALMOST NEVER. …big difference, especially to this pastor.

          Comment by Anonymous — Monday February 17, 2014 @ 4:58am PST  
      • You completely blow your “credibility” with your elitist blowhard and indifferent attitude.

        Typical over the top animal nut who doesn’t mind a human getting killed for whatever reason.

        I love my animals but people like you make me sick!

        Comment by Stupidity Hater — Monday February 17, 2014 @ 4:39am PST  
        • I had no idea the Snake man was on NAT Geo/ These reality shows will go any lengths for viewership. This is another case of outrageous TV viewing

          Comment by hadenuf62 — Friday February 21, 2014 @ 1:46pm PST  
      • What? You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. I have been a herpetologist for almost 35 years now and can assure you that most snakes WILL bite when scared, tired or hungry. Speaking of hungry….how do you think colubrids attack their prey animal? Reason with it to die so that it can be eaten?…..strangle it with their hands?…..suffocate it with a small pillow? Although you are obviously not well educated in the study of reptiles, it did furnish me with a smile to start the day and for that i thank you!

        Comment by Ed — Monday February 17, 2014 @ 5:05am PST  
      • I agree with you. This jerk thought it was fine to capture wild animals and take them out of their natural habitat. His behavior was disgusting. Wild animals need to be left alone.

        Comment by Oberon123 — Monday February 17, 2014 @ 6:41am PST  

        Yes, we know. Animal Rights activists are a pack of vile human hating crazies who put the welfare of a venomous reptile ahead of people.

        Currently your “cause” is fashionable with Lefty politicians. The moment that changes your neighbors will be calling you to account for your past acts.

        I advise moderation. Because karma is a beeotch.

        Comment by The Phantom — Monday February 17, 2014 @ 7:09am PST  
      • how stupid for an animal right person to believe a human should suffer before an animal !!!

        Comment by mt — Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 7:41pm PST  
    • Why didn’t God save him? Why didn’t the congregation pray to God for a cure to the snake bite? Only one reason. God does not exist. These religious nuts are all for getting medical help for themselves, but for anybody else, it’s pray to God and if you didn’t pray hard enough, that’s why your child died. Hypocrites.

      Comment by Katina Cooper — Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 3:25pm PST  
      • Katina, you are incorrect in asserting that there is only one reason and or option for this poor man’s death. It could be that it was God’s will or that when you tempt God you are rewarded. As for your charge of hypocrites, I think you are talking about the wrong group of people.

        Comment by Michael Butterfield — Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 6:22pm PST  
      • Actually, “Snake Handling” is practiced by an extremely few Christians because it is completely taken out of context. God may not exist but it’s not because a “snake handler” was killed from a snake bite. To your other point, you just asserted that “these religious nuts are all for getting medical help for themselves” but not for anyone else. Umm, did you just read the story where he refused medical help for himself?

        Comment by Kevin — Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 10:52pm PST  
      • Katina are you serious???? who made the snake? GOD not us human the snake was doing what he or she are supposed to do. bite!!! the Pastor should had medical help for everyone. it doesn’t have anything to do with faith nor pray. it’s freaking common sense. folks has the right to worship God as they pleased. but have freaking common sense. I don’t believe in what they are doing but that’s me. I hope this show that folks who do believe in this snakes stuff use common freaking sense. have medical help more likely the person will denial the help at least it’s an option.

        Comment by Annette Landberg — Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 11:37pm PST  
      • Look around at all the wonders in the world my friend. Look at how a woman’s womb changes to protect and nourish a baby as it grows, look at the physics that put the earth in just the right location to allow the right conditions for human life, look at the incredible systems that work in the human body to fight off germs and to create red and white blood cells and tell me it is only happenstance. Tell me that all of the genius in the design of humans and nature came from a big explosion despite the intricate design of everything. No, it took a brilliant architect to design it all. Intelligence and abilities beyond the comprehension of we humans. For Christians, we can look around and know there is a God who made it all……it’s called faith. I am an Evangelical Christian. We don’t pick up venomous snakes by the way.

        Comment by tomtruthteller — Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 11:53pm PST  
        • @TomTruthTeller, if us and everything around us had to be created because it’s too complicated, beautiful & wonderful to have evolved, then what created your god? You would say your god is infinitely greater than us and all the universe, so using your same logic, your god must have been created. But by whom or what? Your god has simply always existed? Oh, so you agree that something wonderful can simply exist? You say your god just exists, we say the universe just exists. The main difference is that we can observe the existence of ourselves and our environment/universe, while you only have god in your mind.

          Comment by The Unholy See — Monday February 17, 2014 @ 1:36pm PST  
      • You make the mistake of believing that God is obligated to save him simply because He was asked to do so. The man was obviously a heretic, not anointed by God. After all, he did teach that those anointed by God could handle snakes without being bitten. Well, he handled a snake, he was bitten, and now he’s dead. According to this pastor’s logic, he couldn’t have been anointed. For the record, it never says in the Bible that one can be an idiot, handle snakes, and expect to be protected. Just as the Bible never says that God must do everything we want every time we pray. Lastly, if people prayed that God would save him and he wasn’t saved, then God did answer the prayer. His answer was “NO”.

        Comment by Only Truth — Monday February 17, 2014 @ 4:39am PST  
      • Um, this “religious nut” as you call him, died because of his false beliefs … So “hypocrite” is about the last thing I would call him.

        …and no, this is not proof that god does not exist … This is only proof that taking the bible literally (a book that has been written, re-written, translated, and re-phrased many many times) can be hazardous to your health.

        Comment by Anonymous — Monday February 17, 2014 @ 5:03am PST  
      • Uhhh…. he wasn’t a hypocrite. He refused traditional medical treatment, and died.

        Comment by derf — Monday February 17, 2014 @ 6:20am PST  
      • thanks for the comment Katina cooper, how could anyone be so stupid to pray with a rattle snake, am sure they have no education, we had an assembly of god preacher in okla. let his son die of diphtheria was sure god would heal him . religion is fine for some one who needs a crutch, not me I control my own mind thanks

        Comment by jack williams — Monday February 17, 2014 @ 7:20am PST  
      • God does not exist because a false prophet died? Your conclusion sounds rather simple minded. Everybody dies whether they pray to God or not, so I guess there is no God since everybody dies right? Making that sure conclusion presumes that you know the purpose of our existence. Are you the all knowing one Katina? Stop being so narrow minded.

        Comment by Jason — Monday February 17, 2014 @ 7:50am PST  
      • Katina,
        This man was a fool, a fake and worse a false teacher. He was taking the Bible out of context and using to show his followers how “special” he was. The easiest way to debunk what he was doing is to See what Jesus & his disciples did. First Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 6:16 “You shall not tempt (or test) the LORD your God.” (Matthew 4:7,Luke 4:12) Jesus never did anything like this fool and neither did his disciples.
        Also this idiot did refuse medical help and that’s why he died. You are just lumping in other false teachers and cults that teach their followers to avoid modern medicine.
        Last there are many false teachers and cults that teach bad things happen because you are not good enough like the ‘secret’ that says bad things happen to you because you draw them to yourself. The truth is we live in a fallen world where things are not as they should be. The Bible makes it clear we were created to live in perfect harmony with God and his creation, but we sinned and introduced separation from God and death into the world forever. (read Genesis 3) The whole Old Testament documents God’s plan for fixing this problem, by first laying out the standard (Law) to be followed, how it is impossible for us to follow it perfectly and all along points to a savior who will fulfill what is required (Jesus). The New Testament documents the fulfillment of his law and the salvation in Jesus, who is God incarnate humbled in human form, who did live the perfect life and fulfilled the Law and then died innocent and paid for all sin of all time. (read any of the first books of the NT for a quick rundown Matthew, Mark, Luke or John)
        You are right though every follower of Christ (myself included) is or at least has been a hypocrite. Only Jesus was and is perfect, that’s why we should follow him and know his word so we are not lead astray by morons like this guy.

        Comment by Jason Bartlett — Monday February 17, 2014 @ 8:21am PST  
      • Oh Katina…Your ignorance is showing… Actually Pastor Coots had been bitten 8…YES EIGHT times before and never sought medical attention. But one thing does happen to people who have been bitten multiple times. They develop severe allergies to the snake venom. This is probably what happened in this case. You can go on believing that God doesn’t exist, that is your right. But, it was also this Pastor’s right to practice his religion as he saw fit too. You cannot have it both ways…

        Comment by AuntieBigDigs — Thursday February 20, 2014 @ 7:55pm PST  
    • The man was killed practicing what he preached and believed. As for snakes they are interesting if you like those things. There seems to be some real hate here for a man that was practicing what he believed was the path God had given him. I can’t recall seeing such hatred displayed toward surfers, bee keeps, or farmers killed by animals. Christians have become the most attacked people in society.

      Comment by Brett — Monday February 17, 2014 @ 2:49am PST  
    • Well, the Bible says

      6 And (Satan) saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

      7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

      If Jesus being God didn’t tempt God Why would anyone dare do that? It was a big mistake. That Church if it can be called that is mis interpreting the Bible.

      One famous theologician who contributed so much has castrated himself by taking a verse talking about Eunuchs literally.

      So one should be carefull in using the mighty ‘sword’ or God’s Word carefully.

      Mark 16:16 refers to the fact that such harms will not hurt believers. It didn’t say that they should test God whether it will harm them or not.

      Comment by nw — Monday February 17, 2014 @ 3:57am PST  
    • Doesn’t anyone remember “thou shalt not tempt the Lord your God”? This entire sideline from the Gospel is outrageous, it is an affront to the Lord.

      If God wanted to reveal himself to men, he would do what He did in Christ when he appeared in “flesh” as a person, to teach us how to relate to Him. People who run around looking for “signs” are lost. Jesus is the sign, deviation from looking to Him and being humbly faithful is vain. Nothing to argue about here.

      Comment by Jimmini — Monday February 17, 2014 @ 6:13am PST  
    • Ignorance and Arrogance are more dangerous than snakes…

      God says: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” Hosea 4:6

      Comment by Paul — Tuesday February 18, 2014 @ 11:38am PST  
    • You was doing what you born to do.

      Comment by Brian Jennings — Tuesday February 18, 2014 @ 5:07pm PST  
  • stupid is as stupid does.

    Comment by merrrrraanga — Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 10:01am PST  
    • Yep, it is stupid because they are not understanding what is being said in the Scriptures about this. It never has meant that we go out and seek to pick up snakes to see if we’re going to be bite or not.

      Well, I won’t go on because they probably can’t figure it out anyway. Honestly they are doing this to get their high adrenalin rush pumping because they are picking up these venomous creatures.

      It’s just all nonsense. They are missing the message and the report of the good news, i.e., the gospel, and the quest for the truth that Yahweh puts forth!

      Comment by Tiza — Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 5:26pm PST  
      • yes, and if they followed to whole verse they would drink the poison too.

        Mark 16:18

        18 they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; ethey will lay their hands fon the sick, and they will recover.

        also there is a great deal of evidence proving that this part of the bible was never written by Mark and was added to the bible by someone else after it was created.

        Comment by merrrrraanga — Monday February 17, 2014 @ 2:27pm PST  
  • Too apropos to even make a joke.

    Comment by Gil Brooks — Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 10:03am PST  
  • The first thought to come to my head reading that headline was:
    “I bet he was white. Black people ain’t f*cking with no damn snakes!”
    Is that racist?

    Comment by Charles Manley — Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 10:06am PST  
    • It is…but it’s cool on this site, because you attacked Whites for being stupid. Self-hating White Liberals love that.

      Comment by Jeff — Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 12:43pm PST  
    • It may be ‘snakist”

      Comment by meeesterpaul — Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 2:41pm PST  
    • No, it’s not racist. It’s just stereotyping. Remember that next time a white person says something similar.

      Comment by jimmymac6778@gmail.com — Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 2:48pm PST  
    • No, it’s not racist. It’s just stereotyping. Remember that next time a white person says something similar.

      Comment by Jim MacDonald — Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 2:55pm PST  
      • It’s not stereotyping, it’s true. I’ve been around enough black folks to know that.

        Comment by Dave — Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 4:56pm PST  
        • That’s exactly what the definition of stereotyping is — you took your limited knowledge (unless you met every person in the world, it is limited, that’s not meant to be offensive) of the black peopel you know hating snakes and extended it to the rest of the black population.
          Not necessarily racist, seems like more of a joke than anything, but it is stereotyping.

          Comment by Sam — Monday February 17, 2014 @ 7:32am PST  
    • Nope, that’s profiling.

      Comment by Juvenal — Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 5:18pm PST  
    • No, ’cause it’s true.

      Comment by deskboy — Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 5:25pm PST  
    • Yes Charley, that would be racist

      Comment by tomtruthteller — Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 11:55pm PST  
  • Something about Darwin

    Comment by Charles — Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 10:07am PST  
    • ha!

      Comment by mos-def — Monday February 17, 2014 @ 8:30am PST  
  • Does this mean people will stop believing in this crap now

    Comment by Colin — Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 10:08am PST  
    • Not until Hell freezes over.

      Comment by HAP — Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 11:33am PST  
    • Of course, this is an opportunity for anti-Christian bigots to have a field day. And of course, these are the same people who think they are tolerant and fight against “discrimination,” lol.

      Comment by wrtrprod7 — Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 1:56pm PST  
      • Unlike the traits Christians seem to hate these days, Christianity is a choice, and a dumb one, like handling poisonous snakes. Being bigoted against ignorance is not as bad as being ignorantly bigoted.

        Comment by B. Zelbub — Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 4:36pm PST  
        • Dumb to you, but thank you for your most precious advice.

          Comment by grayjohn — Monday February 17, 2014 @ 2:41am PST  
      • Thank you……well said and so true

        Comment by tomtruthteller — Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 11:56pm PST  
    • Yeah, exactly. The stupidity of saying, how great it is that he died doing his calling, “demonstrating his faith” A faith, that proved to be exactly ass wrong.
      And he’s not the first of these ass hats to die of snakebite.
      Wake up people, just because you believe it doesn’t make it so.

      And likewise, just because you refuse to believe it doesn’t mean it’s not happening – HInt HInt. Climate change. If all your fundamentalist sheep don’t quit following a corporate anti-poor, agenda just because the news says that those guys care about your religion, the whole world is going to be snake bit. We’ll all be gone, but the snakes will be just fine.

      Proof of faith – SNAP he’s dead! Faith proved wrong. over and out.

      Comment by Tentoes — Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 5:00pm PST  
      • You’re denigrating people for believing in God while you believe in “climate change”? HAHAHAHHAHAHAHHA

        Comment by TrickleUpPolitics — Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 5:19pm PST  
      • This proved two things. 1) This man was not anointed. He taught that those anointed could handle snakes and not be bitten. He handled a snake. He was bitten. Not anointed. 2) That what the Bible says IS true. Consider 1 Corinthians 10:9 “We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did, and were destroyed by serpents…” He put Christ to the test and was destroyed for it.

        Comment by Only Truth — Monday February 17, 2014 @ 5:08am PST  
  • While it’s sad when anyone passes prematurely, anyone believing in religious hokum will suffer the consequences physically and intellectually. As for spiritually, well, as he clearly believed there was an invisible man in the sky dictating his every move, he was most likely schizophrenic.

    Comment by thinning the herd... — Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 10:10am PST  
  • So much for being anointed by God. This reads like a Family Guy insert. Goodness.

    Comment by brick — Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 10:14am PST  
  • I didn’t know this show existed. Is this for real? Preachers and snakes? WTF? Man, the movie Network is so visionary in predicting the future of television.

    Comment by jarlerguy — Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 10:15am PST  
  • well at least they won’t complain their reality show is scripted.

    WFT – has it come to this?

    Comment by Who Asked You Anyway — Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 10:15am PST  
  |  More Comments

Sorry, comments are closed for this article.