Serpent Handling Church

Serpent Handling Church

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Atra

New York, NY

#1 Aug 20, 2008
Hi...I was wondering if anyone can help me. I'm doing a photo book on religion and I'd like to visit a church that takes up the serpent. I knew of a pastor in Indiana and went to one service but it's been a long time and I lost touch...I'd like to continue. I know of two churches; one in Ages and one in Cawood, but I don't want to go uninvited. I'm not sure if Jolo in West Virginia is still open, so I thought I'd give this forum a try...I'm not looking to judge or embarrass anyone, just looking for a few documentary type photographs for my book.

If you'd like to contact me in private, please send me a message. I can send samples of my previous work.

Thanks for any help. God Bless.
london

Anderson, SC

#2 Aug 20, 2008
east london holiness church does it!
Atra

New Rochelle, NY

#3 Aug 20, 2008
Yes, but I'd rather speak with a pastor first. I don't want to show up without an invite, that's not polite in my opinion. Then on top of that, I don't know where that church is located. Airfare is very expensive these days, I'd be coming from NY. I would need to pre-arrange things.

Thank you very much for the information, I really appreciate it.
ric

London, KY

#4 Aug 20, 2008
Atra wrote:
Yes, but I'd rather speak with a pastor first. I don't want to show up without an invite, that's not polite in my opinion. Then on top of that, I don't know where that church is located. Airfare is very expensive these days, I'd be coming from NY. I would need to pre-arrange things.
Thank you very much for the information, I really appreciate it.
well i have a snake you can handle take pics of but you really have to be careful the thing is very venomus a few women have handled it and was bitten it swelled their bellys up terrible for 9 mos.
blessed blue eyes

Lexington, KY

#5 Aug 21, 2008
sorry to burst your bubble sweetheart but good luck getting any kind of permission to take pics. there is NO WAY that any Holiness pastor (not to be confused with Jesus Only people) will allow pics to be taken of serpent handling for a book, especially after what has been in the news for the past year or so. However I can tell you that you would be more than welcome to attend services at any serpent handling church WITHOUT your camera. You don't need an invitation for that.
TWISTED SISTER

Somerset, KY

#6 Aug 21, 2008
ric wrote:
<quoted text>well i have a snake you can handle take pics of but you really have to be careful the thing is very venomus a few women have handled it and was bitten it swelled their bellys up terrible for 9 mos.
LOL good one!!
calico

Bowling Green, KY

#7 Aug 21, 2008
corinth might as well, they brainwash their members into believing they are the only ones going to heaven.
Atra

New York, NY

#8 Aug 21, 2008
"there is NO WAY that any Holiness pastor (not to be confused with Jesus Only people) will allow pics to be taken of serpent handling for a book, especially after what has been in the news for the past year or so."

That's the sad part; I understand how the media has sensationalized serpent handlers and exploited the practices to sell papers. I also see how mean people are and cast judgment on religions that don't conform to the "norm." This is what I do, I document religion and without judgment. I can back that up with proof, this will be my second book. As far as being illegal, I can't understand how separation of church and state works in every other aspect, except in the taking up of serpents. Vodou and Santeria practices allow the ritual slaughtering of animals and it's protected by law. I understand venomous reptiles are deadly; but in the confines of a private church and at the practitioners own accord, it should be allowed. I think the state realizes this and that's why the fines are minimal?

In any event, if someones knows of a church that might consider this, I'd be willing to come to a few services and show them my work. I knew a few pastors, one was actually a big name in the church, but many have moved on to other things or have passed away.
London

Dahlonega, GA

#9 Aug 21, 2008
All Holiness does not handle snakes.
just me

Anderson, SC

#10 Aug 21, 2008
Yes I'm sure lots of them have "passed away" LOL!

Seriously, I know you are from NY and have preconceived ideas about our little backwoods town but we are not a bunch of hillbillies with rattlers wrapped around our wrist. It is frankly insulting that you would start this post.
Atra

New Rochelle, NY

#11 Aug 21, 2008
Re; Just me

How is it insulting?
I'm not categorizing anyone or any place. I asked something specific - something about a religious practice, a practice that is known to occur in that region. No, am I making this up or something? And I've done so with respect.

It's more insulting to see you mock someone because of their beliefs - that's more of a "hillbilly" if you ask me.

I promise I won't be insulted if you say; NY is full of idiot drivers and amazing pizza.
djj

London, KY

#12 Aug 21, 2008
In order to stop receiving posts that make no sense you might have luck in your search by contacting WKYT TV in Lexington. I am sure they have done a few news stories about serpent handling churches. If that is no good then google snake handling in KY. That may help.
open minded

Johnson City, TN

#13 Aug 21, 2008
Atra wrote:
"there is NO WAY that any Holiness pastor (not to be confused with Jesus Only people) will allow pics to be taken of serpent handling for a book, especially after what has been in the news for the past year or so."
That's the sad part; I understand how the media has sensationalized serpent handlers and exploited the practices to sell papers. I also see how mean people are and cast judgment on religions that don't conform to the "norm." This is what I do, I document religion and without judgment. I can back that up with proof, this will be my second book. As far as being illegal, I can't understand how separation of church and state works in every other aspect, except in the taking up of serpents. Vodou and Santeria practices allow the ritual slaughtering of animals and it's protected by law. I understand venomous reptiles are deadly; but in the confines of a private church and at the practitioners own accord, it should be allowed. I think the state realizes this and that's why the fines are minimal?
In any event, if someones knows of a church that might consider this, I'd be willing to come to a few services and show them my work. I knew a few pastors, one was actually a big name in the church, but many have moved on to other things or have passed away.
I support freedom of religion in most cases. If an adult chooses to handle a snake, it is their choice. But, if an adult places their child in danger as a result of attending such a service, I believe that child should be removed from that family. That is my only concern about snake handling churches. I did a major paper on that issue in college and saw some terrifying things involving children (on video only, would never attend a service in person). I would like to hear your thoughts on this issue.

Since: Mar 08

London, KY

#14 Aug 21, 2008
There are quite a few churches in this area that do still practice serpent handling and you would probably have a good opportunity at documenting as long as you contacted the right people. Maybe you should post an e-mail address so people can contact you with more information.

Since: Mar 08

London, KY

#15 Aug 21, 2008
just me wrote:
Yes I'm sure lots of them have "passed away" LOL!
Seriously, I know you are from NY and have preconceived ideas about our little backwoods town but we are not a bunch of hillbillies with rattlers wrapped around our wrist. It is frankly insulting that you would start this post.
He never said we were hillbillies and Southeastern KY does have a lot of snake handling churches, so just face the truth and stop it with the attitude.
TWISTED SISTER

Somerset, KY

#16 Aug 22, 2008
Just so I understand it correctly.Is it the Holiness faith that believes this? Is their belief that if you are a Christian/Saved that you can handle the snake and it wont bite you? Or is it that if it does bite you, you wont get sick, die and go to heaven.Help me out here.
Atra

New Rochelle, NY

#17 Aug 22, 2008
Yes, there are some Holiness Churches that take up this practice. Forgive me if I am wrong, but this might answer your questions;

"In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." Mark 16:17-18

"Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you." Luke 10:19

When a person is bitten in a religious ceremony, it can signify one of five things:

1. The person has sin in his/her life.

2. That the person handled the snake without being under "the anointing" of the Holy Ghost. Since God promises no protection to the unanointed, snakes are prone to bite them.

3. The person may lack the faith to handle the serpent. Handling snakes without faith is presumption.

4. That God is testing the handlers to see if they will deny the faith when they are bitten.

5. That God is a healer. One of the ways to know this is for him to heal the victim of a venomous snakebite (Acts 28:1-5).
TWISTED SISTER

Somerset, KY

#18 Aug 22, 2008
Thanks. I believe that God gave me the sense to realize that handliung a deadly serpent that has the potential to kill me is foolish. I consider that :"tempting fate". I dont know. I just know I wont do it.
FOR THOUGHT

United States

#19 Aug 22, 2008
The idea behind the passage that you have quoted from Mark was made in regard to the powers of the spostles at Pentecost. These were powers given in order to help the apostles form the church as in the book of Acts. The tongues were not jibberish as many believe but actuallly the nationalities that were there need to hear there own language. These are small picture of a whole. I believe it is important to view the Bible and not to base your religion upon one specific passage that is quite frankly misinterpreted by many. Just my opinion.
London

Dahlonega, GA

#20 Aug 22, 2008
MOST Holiness faith people do not do this or believe in this! I have been to a few different Holiness churches myself and used to be a member of one. I also have several family members and friends that go to different Holiness churches and it is not the common practice for Holiness to do this, it's just what people remember when they hear about this practice.

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