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BoneKrusher
06-01-2012, 07:19 AM
http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20120601/NEWS02/706019874





Rattlesnake bite kills snake-handling pastor

Pastor Mack Wolford handles a rattlesnake during a service at the Church of the Lord Jesus in Jolo, W.Va., in 2011.


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- A West Virginia preacher who followed his father into the rare practice of handling snakes to prove faith in God died after being bitten during an outdoor service involving the reptiles.

Mark Randall "Mack" Wolford, 44 -- whose own father died in 1983 after suffering a fatal bite -- had been bitten before and survived. But he died earlier this week after witnesses say a timber rattler bit him on the thigh. Wolford's sister and a freelance photographer said it happened during a Sunday service at Panther State Forest.

Lauren Pond, a freelance photojournalist from Washington, D.C., told the Bluefield Daily Telegraph she was among 25 people at the service. She saw Wolford bitten but said congregants were unfazed.

"I don't think anyone necessarily expected it," she said, "but they've dealt with it before so it's not such a huge shock, maybe."

Bluefield Regional Medical Center spokeswoman Becky Ritter said Thursday that Wolford was a patient and died Monday, but privacy laws prevented her from releasing additional information.

Born in Pike County, Ky., Wolford had lived in the Bramwell area for the past five years and was a pastor at Apostolic House of the Lord Jesus in Matoaka. Unlike many Pentecostal preachers, he embraced publicity, welcoming journalists and photographers.

Ralph Hood, a religion professor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, saw Wolford bitten by a copperhead about six years ago.

Wolford and others prefer to be called "serpent handlers" as a reflection of Scripture, and Hood said his friend would want people to remember him as "a Christian who was living his beliefs and being obedient."

"Serpent-handling was only a small part of that," he said. "He was trying to revitalize a strong tradition that doesn't make a distinction between beliefs and practices."

"A common misunderstanding is that handlers believe they can't get bit or it won't kill them," Hood said. "What they'll tell you is, 'No one will get out of this alive.' They'll also tell you it's not a question of how you live; it's a question of how you die. ... This is how he would have wanted to die."

Wolford and his followers have a literal belief in Mark 16:17-18. "And these signs will follow those who believe," the verses say. "In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover."

"I know it's real; it is the power of God," Wolford said last year. If he hadn't started handling snakes after returning to his church, he said, "it'd be the same as denying the power and saying it was not real."

Although most Appalachian states have outlawed snake handling, it remains legal but rare in West Virginia. Wolford acknowledged that last year, saying his mother was the only relative who still followed the tradition. Her husband died of a rattlesnake bite at age 39 in 1983.

Cody Ford, interim executive director of the West Virginia Council of Churches, represents 15 mainstream denominations and has little interaction with independent churches. But he said serpent-handling is "absolutely not" common in West Virginia, and churches that do it are hard to find.

"To the ordinary person sitting in the pews in any one of our churches, the snake-handling concept would be as strange and foreign as it would be to the most erudite reader of the New York Times," Ford said.

But Hood said the serpent-handling tradition remains scattered throughout the region, from Alabama to Ohio to New York. Its popularity waxes and wanes with the passing of generations, and it is currently seeing a resurgence of sorts.

"It tends to be transmitted through families, and as these young kids mature, the tradition grows and becomes strong again," he said. "And that's what's happening again now."

Douche Baggins
06-01-2012, 07:23 AM
whar is ur gawd nao

durtyrute
06-01-2012, 07:23 AM
Starring.......

http://www.tvleak.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/snake-handler-fail.jpg

Kyle DeLexus
06-01-2012, 07:26 AM
He really bit the big one.

Radar Chief
06-01-2012, 07:36 AM
So Iím watching this Amish outcast, or whatever the name of the reality show Mrs. Radar was recording, and this guy that left the Amish was thinking of joining another church but on the way to the baptism his car ran out of gas. He opined that it was Godís way of saying he isnít ready to join a different church. I figured itís more likely that its Godís way of saying he should have topped off his gas tank before hitting the road.

Dave Lane
06-01-2012, 07:46 AM
Evolution in action.

Dave Lane
06-01-2012, 07:50 AM
"It tends to be transmitted through families, and as these young kids mature, the tradition grows and becomes strong again," he said. "And that's what's happening again now."

I wonder if this is just a general comment on religion or is meant to somehow be exclusive to the snake people.

BoneKrusher
06-01-2012, 08:04 AM
"It tends to be transmitted through families, and as these young kids mature, the tradition grows and becomes strong again," he said. "And that's what's happening again now."

I wonder if this is just a general comment on religion or is meant to somehow be exclusive to the snake people.

exclusive to the snake people i think.

GoHuge
06-01-2012, 08:25 AM
So Iím watching this Amish outcast, or whatever the name of the reality show Mrs. Radar was recording, and this guy that left the Amish was thinking of joining another church but on the way to the baptism his car ran out of gas. He opined that it was Godís way of saying he isnít ready to join a different church. I figured itís more likely that its Godís way of saying he should have topped off his gas tank before hitting the road.That's the first time I had seen an episode of that show and that's exactly what I was thinking. After all he went through all he learned is that God and his fucked up mom don't like him. Must be his voice.........annoying as hell.

Fish
06-01-2012, 08:31 AM
"A common misunderstanding is that handlers believe they can't get bit or it won't kill them," Hood said. "What they'll tell you is, 'No one will get out of this alive.' They'll also tell you it's not a question of how you live; it's a question of how you die. ... This is how he would have wanted to die."

Wolford and his followers have a literal belief in Mark 16:17-18. "And these signs will follow those who believe," the verses say. "In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover."

"I know it's real; it is the power of God," Wolford said last year. If he hadn't started handling snakes after returning to his church, he said, "it'd be the same as denying the power and saying it was not real."

This is one of the most despicable aspects of religion.. Giving followers false belief of protection that causes them to completely ignore common sense.

Regarding the first bolded quote... do they really think this is how he would have wanted to die? That's just absurd. The entire point of them handling snakes is to supposedly show that God is protecting them. Why would he want to die in a way that goes completely against the idea that they're being protected from this idiotic practice? And saying it's not about how you live, but how you die? That makes zero sense. None.

Regarding the second bolded part... WTF logic? If he hadn't handled dangerous venomous animals(which killed him), it would have been the same as shunning his religion? So it was either die from religious encouraged idiocy, or you'll be denying the "power" of said religion. Yeah.. that's just great...

I'm glad this loony practice is confined to the ultra idiots of religion...

Kyle DeLexus
06-01-2012, 08:32 AM
So Iím watching this Amish outcast, or whatever the name of the reality show Mrs. Radar was recording, and this guy that left the Amish was thinking of joining another church but on the way to the baptism his car ran out of gas. He opined that it was Godís way of saying he isnít ready to join a different church. I figured itís more likely that its Godís way of saying he should have topped off his gas tank before hitting the road.

I don't get people like this that feel they control nothing in life.

QuikSsurfer
06-01-2012, 08:35 AM
http://images.sodahead.com/polls/000237714/polls_Monty_Python_Spot_The_Looney_FC_1504_20247_answer_1_xlarge.jpeg

boogblaster
06-01-2012, 08:37 AM
prolly had his finger sumwhere he shouldn't ... good place for rape'n priests to end up at .....

Simply Red
06-01-2012, 08:46 AM
Jesus doesn't care for the Pentecostal 'Church Of God'

ReynardMuldrake
06-01-2012, 09:16 AM
The thing is, Mark 16:17 wasn't originally part of the gospel. Which is funny when people try to take it literally. That passage was written later and inserted into later versions of the bible.

Ace Gunner
06-01-2012, 09:30 AM
if we had banned snakes during church, this man would still be alive. so, I say don't ban snakes.

gblowfish
06-01-2012, 09:32 AM
Snake Wavers RULE!

Detoxing
06-01-2012, 09:40 AM
One less bigot in the world. The snake is doing God's dirty work.

bevischief
06-01-2012, 10:55 AM
Was he gay too?

Bwana
06-01-2012, 10:56 AM
Evolution in action.

Yep, future Darwin Award.

Okie_Apparition
06-01-2012, 11:20 AM
Was the snake put down

Lzen
06-01-2012, 11:24 AM
One less bigot in the world

Anyone else see the irony in this post?

Nickel D
06-01-2012, 11:41 AM
What an asp...

BoneKrusher
06-01-2012, 11:46 AM
thing is, the guy would have lived if he had gotten to the Hospital right after the bite but these people refuse to go till its too late.

Rain Man
06-01-2012, 11:47 AM
Meanwhile, the lion-handling sect has commissioned a study to determine why their membership gets smaller every week.

KCUnited
06-01-2012, 11:51 AM
The fang is, this guy died doing what he loved doing.

Aries Walker
06-01-2012, 12:03 PM
West Virginia.

BoneKrusher
06-01-2012, 12:16 PM
West Virginia.

Rural "West By God Virginia". LMAO

in this area where this Church is there have been so many Rattlesnakes killed there over the past 20 years that the Government dumped crates of them from Helicopters recently so they dont go extinct.

WV
06-01-2012, 12:24 PM
Cracks me up how some people think crazy stuff like this inclusive to certain states.

Inspector
06-01-2012, 12:29 PM
Back when my wife was an actress she took a part in a play where she did snake handling and used a appalachian accent in her dialogue.

Watching the audience react when she pulled the snake out of a basket was funny. Of course they knew it wasn't real as she draped in around her neck. But the really hilarious part was when the snake raised it's head and the audience realized that it was indeed real.

I saw a couple of people crawl up in their seats and a few almost ran for it.

She used a black snake - non poisonous - and would sit at home with that snake in her lap while watching TV and stuff so it would be comfortable with her. I swear that snake got to know her and was very relaxed when she held him but would tense up when others came in the room.

Kyle DeLexus
06-01-2012, 12:38 PM
thing is, the guy would have lived if he had gotten to the Hospital right after the bite but these people refuse to go till its too late.

Obviously it was God's will. The fact that he didn't go to the hospital right away had nothing to do with it. :)

Saul Good
06-01-2012, 01:03 PM
Will somebody please get these mother****ing snakes out this mother****ing church.

Aries Walker
06-01-2012, 01:27 PM
Cracks me up how some people think crazy stuff like this inclusive to certain states.
Have you ever been to West Virginia? It's definitely not the only state like this, but let's just say the concentration there is pretty heavy.

BoneKrusher
06-01-2012, 01:33 PM
Have you ever been to West Virginia? It's definitely not the only state like this, but let's just say the concentration there is pretty heavy.

i live in Bluefield Va
half the town is on Virginia side and Half is on the West Va side.

and Bluefield Virginia is hometown to Ahmad Bradshaw.

Saul Good
06-01-2012, 01:35 PM
Have you ever been to West Virginia? It's definitely not the only state like this, but let's just say the concentration there is pretty heavy.

Did you happen to catch his screen name?

Kyle DeLexus
06-01-2012, 01:44 PM
Did you happen to catch his screen name?

Like that means anything. I don't think Rain Man is really a Rain Man.

Okie_Apparition
06-01-2012, 02:55 PM
Which comes first
Handling snakes or Don't test God

chasedude
06-01-2012, 02:57 PM
Rattlesnakes to help clean out the cesspool, thanks Mr Rattlesnake.

Rain Man
06-01-2012, 03:33 PM
Like that means anything. I don't think Rain Man is really a Rain Man.

Dammit. I just accidentally knocked 62 paper clips off my desk.

Kyle DeLexus
06-01-2012, 03:58 PM
Dammit. I just accidentally knocked 62 paper clips off my desk.

But where do you get your boxer shorts?

BoneKrusher
06-01-2012, 04:12 PM
cant imagine someone with the Balls to pick this thing up and hold it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMopVml_zwQ

wow.