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)









[04/16/14 - 12:30 PM]
Two-Time Oscar(R) Nominee Jeremy Renner to Narrate "The World Wars"
The three-night event series premieres Memorial Day, May 26 at 9:00/8:00c on History.

[04/16/14 - 12:08 PM]
Chicago Fire Host New England Revolution Saturday at 4 P.M. ET on NBCSN
The two teams last met in September when Chicago's Alex scored the game-winning goal in the 86th minute of play to put the Fire ahead 3-2.

[04/16/14 - 12:07 PM]
Strong Debut for FX's Universally Acclaimed Limited Series Fargo?" You Betcha!!!
FX spins the numbers for Tuesday, April 15.

[04/16/14 - 12:04 PM]
"Live with Kelly and Michael" Broadcasts Live from the White House Easter Egg Roll April 21, 2014
Michael Strahan will broadcast live from the annual White House Easter Egg Roll in the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden outside of the East Wing of the White House.

[04/16/14 - 11:42 AM]
ESPN's Coverage of 2014 Men's Division I Frozen Four Increases Viewership
ESPN spins the numbers for Thursday, April 10 and Saturday, April 12.

[04/16/14 - 11:39 AM]
TLC Explores the Fast-Paced Lives and Memorable Stories of Emergency Medical Techs in New Series "OMG EMT!"
The four-part series bows Saturday, May 3 at 10:00/9:00c on the cable channel.

[04/16/14 - 11:03 AM]
Time and Network for ESPN's 2014 Season-Opening Neutral Site College Football Schedule
The lineup will showcase five teams ranked in an early ESPN.com preseason top 25 poll for 2014 on Saturday, August 30.

[04/16/14 - 10:48 AM]
Princess Twilight Sparkle Struggles to Prove Herself as a Princess in the Fourth Season Finale of "My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic" on the Hub Network, May 10
In addition, on April 28, a new My Little Pony game, "My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Rainbow Falls Flight School" will launch on HubNetwork.com.

[04/16/14 - 10:38 AM]
2014 WNBA Draft: Most-Watched Ever on ESPN2
ESPN spins the numbers for Monday, April 14.

[04/16/14 - 10:09 AM]
Stars of ABC Family's "Melissa & Joey" and "Baby Daddy" to Participate in Live Twitter Chat with Fans During East Coast Broadcasts Tonight
Starting at 8:00/7:00c, fans can tweet Christopher Rich at @AceCharmer and Melissa Peterman at @Followtheblonde.

[04/16/14 - 10:03 AM]
GSN Announces a New Lineup of Competitors for Third Season of "The American Bible Challenge," Premiering Thursday, May 22 at 8 PM (ET/PT)
Season three premieres with two back-to-back original episodes on Thursday, May 22 at 8:00/7:00c, and will air new episodes every Thursday at 8:00/7:00c.

[04/16/14 - 10:00 AM]
E!'s "Live from the Red Carpet" Exclusively Broadcasts from the Inaugural iHeartRadio Music Awards
Giuliana Rancic and Terrence Jenkins will host the one-hour special, airing Thursday, May 1 at 7:00/6:00c.

[04/16/14 - 09:59 AM]
Spike TV Orders a Second Season of "Catch a Contractor" Starring Adam Carolla
The new episodes - due this fall - will be an hour long, up from season one's half-hour episodes.

[04/16/14 - 09:46 AM]
"Shark Tank: Swimming with Sharks" - Swim in the Shark-Infested Waters with a Unique Look Behind-the-Scenes of the Hit Show Airing Friday, May 2, 8 pm on ABC
In keeping with the evening's theme, an all-new, original episode of "Shark Tank" will air immediately following at 9:00/8:00c.

[04/16/14 - 09:22 AM]
"NCIS: Los Angeles" and "Person of Interest" Win Time Periods in Viewers and Key Demographics
CBS spins the numbers for Tuesday, April 15.