Serpent-Handling' West Virginia Pastor Dies From Snake Bite

☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾ 2012/05/31 04:09:06
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A "serpent-handling" West Virginia pastor died after his rattlesnake bit him during a church ritual, just as the man had apparently watched a snake kill his father years before.

Pentecostal pastor Mark Wolford, 44, hosted an outdoor service at the Panther Wildlife Management Area in West Virginia Sunday, which he touted on his Facebook page prior to the event.
Serpent Handling  West Virginia Pastor Dies From Snake Bite
"I am looking for a great time this Sunday," Wolford wrote May 22, according to the Washington Post. "It is going to be a homecoming like the old days. Good 'ole raised in the holler or mountain ridge running, Holy Ghost-filled speaking-in-tongues sign believers."

Robin Vanover, Wolford's sister, told the Washington Post that 30 minutes into the outdoor service, Wolford passed around a poisonous timber rattlesnake, which eventually bit him.
"He laid it on the ground," Vanover said in the interview, "and he sat down next to the snake, and it bit him on the thigh."
Serpent Handling  West Virginia Pastor Dies From Snake Bite
Vanover said Wolford was then transported to a family member's home in Bluefield about 80 miles away to recover. But as the situation worsened, he was taken to a hospital where he later died.

Jim Shires, owner of the Cravens-Shires Funeral Home in Bluefield, told ABC News that Wolford died Monday. Wolford's church, the Apostolic House of the Lord Jesus in Matoaka, will host a viewing Friday and a funeral service Saturday morning. Wolford will be buried at the Hicks Family Plot in Phelps, Ky.

Officials at the Panther Wildlife Management Area had been unaware of Sunday's event until they were notified by callers after the service.
Serpent Handling  West Virginia Pastor Dies From Snake Bite
"We did not know that this event was happening, and if we had known about it or if we had been asked for permission, permission would not have been granted," Hoy Murphy, public information officer for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, told ABC News.

Hoy said West Virginia state park rules prohibit animals other than dogs and cats on the property.

While snake-handling is legal in West Virginia, other Appalachian states, including Kentucky and Tennessee, have banned the practice in public spaces.
Snake-handlers point to scripture as evidence that God calls them to engage in such a practice to show their faith in him. Mark 16: 17-18 reads, "And these signs shall follow them that believe: 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."
Wolford told the Washington Post magazine in 2011 that he is carrying on the tradition of his ancestors by engaging in snake handling.

"Anybody can do it that believes it," Wolford said. "Jesus said, 'These signs shall follow them which believe.' This is a sign to show people that God has the power."
Wolford said watched his own father die at the age of 39 after a rattlesnake bit him during a similar service.

"He lived 101/2 hours," Wolford told the Washington Post Magazine. "When he got bit, he said he wanted to die in the church. Three hours after he was bitten, his kidneys shut down. After a while, your heart stops. I hated to see him go, but he died for what he believed in.

"I know it's real; it is the power of God," Wolford told the Washington Post Magazine last year. "If I didn't do it, if I'd never gotten back involved, it'd be the same as denying the power and saying it was not real."

Read More: http://news.yahoo.com/serpent-handling-west-virgin...

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  • La justnot... 2012/05/31 09:22:00
    Did the snake die? :(
  • justnot... La 2012/05/31 18:04:07
    justnotsaying (:
    No. :)
  • Truth justnot... 2012/05/31 10:30:11
    why did the poor snake die too? That sucks I happen to like snakes!?!? TRUTH!!!
  • justnot... Truth 2012/05/31 18:06:49 (edited)
    justnotsaying (:
    It's off to a better place(released back into the wild). You all capped the word "truth" I can tell you really like snakes.
  • ☥☽✪☾DAW... justnot... 2012/05/31 18:26:44
    ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾
    I like Snakes too
  • justnot... ☥☽✪☾DAW... 2012/05/31 18:30:31
    justnotsaying (:
    I've never been a snake person, but glad this one will not be exposed to such atrocities again.
  • ☥☽✪☾DAW... justnot... 2012/05/31 18:35:22
  • justnot... ☥☽✪☾DAW... 2012/06/01 03:15:53
  • Night71 2012/05/31 05:00:21
    Ha, ha. Once again we see a complete idiot fail because he believed in god. What a joke.
  • MO.gal 2012/05/31 04:48:16
    pastor Mark Wolford is Winner of the Darwin awards of 2012
    I'm speechless, and believe me "thats" a miracle!
  • mach MO.gal 2012/05/31 05:44:06
    HA!!!!... no, I won't say anything... http://hiox.org/resource/1505...
  • Pat 2012/05/31 04:33:20
    This guy saw his own father die from a snake bite doing the same foolish thing in church. He must have several screws loose to being doing this and so are the people in his church who urge him on.
    And then, They took the guy 80 miles to his home?? Why not to a hospital?? Did he tell them not to because he expected to be healed by god? And they bought that?
    This is absolutely insane.
    By the way, that white and pink snake is the scariest snake I've ever scene. What kind is it? Is it a kind of viper? Yuck!
  • ☥☽✪☾DAW... Pat 2012/05/31 04:36:36
    ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾
    pink corn snake non poisionous
  • Pat ☥☽✪☾DAW... 2012/05/31 04:52:39
    Really? I don't know if it's the color or the open mouth or the eye, but I would not want to find that one anywhere near me. It just has a very odd look about it. Good to know it's not poisonous.
  • findthe... ☥☽✪☾DAW... 2012/05/31 06:26:25
    A friend of mine has one as a pet, it's beautiful and quite nice to handle.
  • ☥☽✪☾DAW... findthe... 2012/05/31 12:09:30
    ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾
    i would love to own one but Girlfriend would freak out

    we have Agreed to buying a 20 Gallon Aquarium so we have our Water Element in the house
  • reaper 2012/05/31 04:32:03
    pastor Mark Wolford is Winner of the Darwin awards of 2012
    I've been across rattlesnakes before, and even then i know to leave them alone.
  • sjalan 2012/05/31 04:21:06
    pastor Mark Wolford is Winner of the Darwin awards of 2012
    Seems to me I think, ahhh, Yep I'm going to say it.

    Got anymore vipers for more of these idiots?
  • ☥☽✪☾DAW... sjalan 2012/05/31 04:25:36
    ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾
    Now I love Snakes as Snakes are in my Animal Totem
    But i know enough common sense to Respect the animal and keep my distance and dont play around with it and think i have supernatural powers because a Badly Written book tells me to do it that was written 2000 years ago
  • sjalan ☥☽✪☾DAW... 2012/05/31 04:28:17
    I was thinking more along the lines of putting that scripture to work on some of the crazier ministers out their including Rev Phelps and that idiot in N.C.
  • strawberry ☥☽✪☾DAW... 2012/05/31 07:01:38
    Formal religions are full of superstitions and myths. I should know, I tried most of them. Pentacostals and Apostolics are really wacko.! They fall on the floor, yelling and crying. They put their hands all over you, trying to get you to "Speak in Tongues." One thing those pastors make sure they get your money. They constantly talk about money, and that it belongs to God.
  • ☥☽✪☾DAW... strawberry 2012/05/31 12:10:21
    ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾
    more Proof Organized Religion is full of insane people
  • wiskkers 2012/05/31 04:19:50
  • CCRNRT 2012/05/31 04:13:57
    I hate to laugh at a religious belief, but that is plain stupid

  • strawberry 2012/05/31 04:13:48
    Lk.10:19 "Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, a...
    At least his congregation learned a lesson of reality. LOL!
  • findthe... strawberry 2012/05/31 06:28:22
    That they'll ignore completely.
  • bricklyn strawberry 2012/06/02 04:56:13
    They probably think it was god's will. Completely explainable to them.
  • cmdrbnd007 2012/05/31 04:11:05
    pastor Mark Wolford is Winner of the Darwin awards of 2012
    Gee, I would have never seen that one coming.

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