or


[08/07/13 - 01:17 PM]
New Series "Snake Salvation" Takes a Look into the Religious Ritual of Snake Handling, Premieres 9/10, 9 PM
The National Geographic Channel series follows pastors Jamie Coots and Andrew Hamblin who "are determined to keep their tradition alive no matter the cost."

[via press release from National Geographic Channel]

IN THE HEART OF APPALACHIA, FAITH IN GOD CAN MEAN HOLDING DEATH IN YOUR BARE HANDS

New Series Snake Salvation Takes a Hissing Look at Two Pastors Who Lead Congregations in the Religious Ritual of Snake Handling

Snake Salvation Premieres Tuesday, September 10, at 9:00 and 9:30 PM ET/PT

(Washington, D.C. - August 7, 2013) Imagine if your path into heaven was contingent on holding deadly snakes above your head while speaking and singing in tongues. Based on a Bible passage that suggests a poisonous snakebite will do no harm as long as its handler is anointed by God's power, some devotees of this unconventional ritual practiced in 100 churches in the U.S. believe not participating will leave them destined for hell.

Following in the National Geographic Channel tradition of taking you inside the worlds of everyday people living unordinary lives, the new series Snake Salvation, premiering Tuesday, September 10, at 9:00 and 9:30 p.m. ET, follows two pastors of this creed who frequently battle the law, a disapproving society and sometimes their own families to lead their faithful followers to righteousness. For pastors Jamie Coots and Andrew Hamblin, the work is always hard, but always worth it, as to them, handling snakes is nothing short of a commandment from God. You can call them crazy, but they are determined to keep their tradition alive no matter the cost.

"Jamie and Andrew take huge risks in practicing their faith, not just in terms of the danger posed by the venomous serpents they handle, but also from law enforcement," said Matthew Testa, the executive producer for the series. "But they firmly believe they are commanded by the Bible to take up serpents as a sign to non-believers, and feel strongly they are exercising their religious freedom as guaranteed by the Constitution. They often say, 'God's law trumps the law of man.' "

Pentecostals who call themselves "Holiness" followers have been handling deadly snakes for more than a hundred years in the United States. Since its founding there have been as many as 100 reported deaths from church-related snake bites. The doctrine of the faith is based on a passage from the Book of Mark (Mark 16:17-18) that says, "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."

For nearly 20 years Pastor Jamie Coots has led the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name, founded by his grandfather, in Middlesboro, Ky. His father, Greg, was also a snake-handling minister, and Jamie's son "Little Cody" hopes to one day carry on the family tradition. Though Pastor Jamie lost half of a finger to a rattlesnake bite, he still believes he must take up serpents to follow his faith. His biggest supporter is his wife, Linda, who plays instruments at every church service and adheres to their faith's strict tenets that forbid women from cutting their hair, wearing makeup or wearing pants. Though she gets nervous watching her husband at work, Linda feels no fear when handling snakes herself - describing it as "a calm" that overtakes her.

"My job as pastor is to kindly keep myself and my flock in line, and to do what we feel is right according to the word of God," says Pastor Jamie. "To me it's as much a commandment from God when he said 'they shall take up serpents,' as it was when he said 'thou shall not commit adultery.'"

Pastor Andrew Hamblin used to be a member of Pastor Jamie's congregation, and he is close enough to Jamie to call him "Dad." Now Andrew, only 22 years old, has started his own church of "sign followers," and though he is young and passionate, he is still working to prove himself to his flock. He is struggling to provide for his wife, Elizabeth, and their five children while on food stamps, and he is on a mission to grow his small church by appealing to a younger generation. The financial burden for running his own church may be too much for him to bear.

"I've got something in my soul greater than anything," says Pastor Andrew. "If I lost my wife to it, if I lost my children, God in heaven forbid I ever do, when my children get old enough to handle them � it would take all I had in me, because I love my wife. I love my kids. But it'd still be the word of God and I'd still have to do it."

Each episode of Snake Salvation will follow Pastors Jamie and Andrew as they fight to maintain their struggling churches. Their biggest obstacle is their most important: finding and sustaining a collection of venomous snakes to use in their services. Each will take viewers along as they head out on snake roundups, racing to find dens of their coveted cold-blooded reptiles before winter starts and the snakes go into hiding. With both pastors too financially strapped to purchase their supply, they are often forced to get creative to keep their stock thriving, be it snake trading at Repticon, the reptile convention, or illegally transporting venomous reptiles from warmer climates across state lines. Even if they can keep their snake population thriving, and stay out of jail, they're also challenged to find and retain followers to their unorthodox faith. Many community members scoff at their bizarre practices, members of their own families teeter on faithfulness and reformed criminals use it as their best defense against backsliding into sin. National Geographic's cameras were there when many church members were bitten by one of the poisonous serpents. But the pastors' own faith never falters that they'll be able to inspire their masses to seek their personal Snake Salvation.

Snake Salvation is a National Geographic Television (NGT) production executive produced by Jerry Decker and Matthew Testa. Ted Duvall is senior producer. For National Geographic Channels, Madeleine Carter is executive producer and Kevin Mohs is the vice president of production and development.

###

National Geographic Channel

Based at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., the National Geographic Channels US are a joint venture between National Geographic and Fox Networks. The Channels contribute to the National Geographic Society's commitment to exploration, conservation and education with smart, innovative programming and profits that directly support its mission. Launched in January 2001, National Geographic Channel (NGC) celebrated its fifth anniversary with the debut of NGC HD. In 2010, the wildlife and natural history cable channel Nat Geo WILD was launched, and in 2011, the Spanish-language network Nat Geo Mundo was unveiled. The Channels have carriage with all of the nation's major cable, telco and satellite television providers, with NGC currently available in 85 million U.S. homes. Globally, National Geographic Channel is available in more than 440 million homes in 171 countries and 38 languages. For more information, visit www.natgeotv.com.





  [august 2013]  
S
M
T
W
T
F
S
    


· SNAKE SALVATION (NGC)









[04/24/14 - 08:07 PM]
Seth Meyers Named Host of "66th Primetime Emmy(R) Awards"
Award-winning director and producer Don Mischer will serve as executive producer, producing with Mischer will be Charlie Haykel and Julianne Hare.

[04/24/14 - 03:30 PM]
BET Networks Announces New Programming and Partnerships at Annual Upfront Presentation
Returning series include "Being Mary Jane," "The Game" and "Real Husbands of Hollywood."

[04/24/14 - 03:25 PM]
Starz Original Drama "Flesh and Bone" Starts Production
Get your first look at the eight-episode series, which follows a young ballet dancer with a distinctly troubled past, as she joins a prestigious ballet company in New York.

[04/24/14 - 03:00 PM]
Wednesday's Cable Ratings & Broadcast Finals: "Modern Family" Reclaims Top Spot in Viewers, Demos
Plus: numbers for Discovery's "Marooned," Comedy Central's "TripTank" and VH1's "The Fabulous Life of..."

[04/24/14 - 02:48 PM]
Discovery Channel to Air "Everest Avalanche Tragedy" on Sunday, May 4
The 90-minute special will include unprecedented access and eyewitness accounts from the rescue and recovery efforts that took place after the avalanche struck the Khumbu Icefall.

[04/24/14 - 02:00 PM]
MTV Announces Summer Schedule at 2014 Upfront Today Including: New Series, Returning Hits and New Music Documentary
Returning series include "Teen Wolf," "Ridiculousness," "Snooki & JWOWW," "Real World" and "Girl Code."

[04/24/14 - 12:51 PM]
"Rebel Road" Premieres on Discovery Channel Monday, April 28th at 10PM
The one-hour special follows a subculture of car mechanics who are building mind-blowing vehicles that look like something out of another place and time.

[04/24/14 - 12:32 PM]
ESPN Commentators for the 2014 NFL Draft
Round 1 will feature host Chris Berman joined by analysts Jon Gruden, Mel Kiper Jr. and Ray Lewis, who will make his NFL Draft debut.

[04/24/14 - 11:46 AM]
The Final Season of "The Killing" Premieres Only on Netflix
Linden and Holder return for one final season exclusively on Netflix in all territories, August 1.

[04/24/14 - 11:35 AM]
"Food Network Star" Returns for Tenth Season with New Cast of Contenders and More Intense Culinary Challenges
The show's 10th season premieres Sunday, June 1 at 9:00/8:00c on the cable channel.

[04/24/14 - 11:34 AM]
USA Network Fans to Vote on Favorite Character-Driven "Suits" Episodes Ahead of Socially-Charged "Suits After Hours" Marathon on Friday, June 6
Said stunt is timed to premiere the show's fourth season launch on Wednesday, June 11 at 9:00/8:00c.

[04/24/14 - 11:31 AM]
E! Special Compares the Latest in Celebrity Fashion and Beauty When "Who Wore It Better?" Premieres Wednesday, April 30th at 8:00 PM ET/PT Only on E!
Catt Sadler and George Kotsiopoulos host the half-hour special.

[04/24/14 - 11:28 AM]
Video: New Trailer for TBS's "CeeLo Green's The Good Life"
The newcomer launches Monday, June 23 at 10:30/9:30c on the network.

[04/24/14 - 11:20 AM]
Myles Turner, No. 2 Basketball Recruit, to Announce College Selection on ESPNU
Recruiting director Paul Biancardi, recruiting analyst Gerry Hamilton and host Matt Schick will anchor the telecast.

[04/24/14 - 10:42 AM]
Video: TNT's "The Last Ship" - New Extended Trailer
The new drama, from executive producer Michael Bay, premieres Sunday, June 22 at 9:00/8:00c on the network.