Snakes May Have Been Used in Church

By: Wendy Enneking Email
By: Wendy Enneking Email

Three Berea men are among the ten men that were arrested earlier this week on charges of illegally buying, selling and possessing wildlife. 30-year-old Brian Fryer, 46-year-old John Rowland and 21-year-old Jerrod Allen were all arrested as part of a two year investigation by state wildlife officials called "Twice Shy."

Members of Fryer's family told 27 NewsFirst that they believe he captured the snakes in the wild and took them to services at the Harmon's Lick Holiness Church in Berea. They also say they doubt Fryer had any idea that he was doing anything illegally. Fellow church members also describe Fryer as a "nice man." The pastor of Harmon's Lick declined to speak with WKYT.

More than 125 snakes were confiscated in the "Twice Shy" operation. They are being quarantined at the Kentucky Reptile Zoo. Zoo director Jim Harrison says they will eventually be distributed to accredited institutions and will not go back into the pet trade.

Harrison says that in Kentucky you are allowed to keep five native species in a collection provided you have the proper permits. You are not allowed to sell the animals.

Each charge of illegally buying, selling or possessing wildlife is a misdemeanor offense carrying a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by john Location: berea on Jan 12, 2009 at 05:23 PM
    THERE WAS A CASE WHERE A HUSBAND AND WIFE DIED ,AT DIFFERENT TIMES. THERE WERE CHILDREN ORPHANED. IT SEEMS HARD TO BEPIEVE GOD ORDERED THE FOOTSTEPS THAT LED TO THIS END. THE LAW WAS MADE TO PROTECT INNOCENT ONES. SERPENT HANDLING NEEDS A CLOSER LOOK BY EVERYONE. IF IT IS GODS WAY PERHAPSS WE ALL SHOULD WONDER WHY.
  • by jerrad Location: berea on Jul 14, 2008 at 04:34 PM
    hello the media says it!!!! so it must be so, if these people had not been buying and selling snakes then they wouldnt have this unwanted attention and could be praticing their religion in peace. they have no one to blame for this attention but themselves
  • by Bell Co. on Jul 14, 2008 at 03:39 PM
    Hello!!!the title of this article is "Snakes may have been used in church"..All these churches..and I KNOW the one in Bell Co. (Coots) has had at least one person die from a snake bite.. They may not be charged with handling the snakes YET...but that is the bottom line.
  • by jerrad Location: berea on Jul 14, 2008 at 10:21 AM
    i have read the story several times i dont see were they are being charged with handling snakes. i do see where they were charged for buying or selling snakes. the story said they could have 5 snakes without a permit so how is this infringing on their religion. seems the law just says you shouldnt buy or sell them
  • by Josie on Jul 13, 2008 at 06:43 PM
    I know of three people who have died handling snakes in their church. Only one I knew personally, I have wondered many times if you die from a snake bite, according to this belief, do you die a hero and go to Heaven or does that prove you do not have enough faith and you go to hell?? I see this as a Pastor asking you to do something to prove your faith..not God..God knows very well I am afraid of snakes and the only way I would touch one would be on judgement day if Christ himself handed me one and said "hold this"...I am a Christian and do not feel I have to prove that to anyone by handling snakes...How do they get their children to want to go to church? Snakes do not belong in Gods house..
  • by us>> Location: kentucky on Jul 13, 2008 at 03:53 PM
    we fill that if that lord wants you to handle a snake then the lord would provide one for you. they should not bring them in boxes to church. not to judge anyone but if you bring a snake to a church that was not put there by the lord then what are doing but temping the lord. the Bible says temp not the lord thy God....
  • by God's Child Location: Kentucky on Jul 13, 2008 at 02:03 PM
    I Know where this harmon lick are located. They been handle snake for long time. I know this guy John Rowland, he is a nice person, he is a deacon of the harmon lick church also. something need to be done about the snake handle in every church. They are not be enforce. How about put every undercover law enforcement in every church or maybe put a hidden camera and it would make it easier for the law to catch them. Also, I know who is the pastor of harmon lick church too. I will not say the name of the pastor, I like him and I don't have nothing against him at all. I just don't go along with them snake handler. somewhere down the road someone is really gonan get bit and die. so now it is time to crack down on the snake handle. Hey snake hander have you ever seen God or Jesus handle the snake before. i guess not. but in the bible it does say shake it off and it will fall, well, i hope this will wake everyone up about the snake handle. God bless you and lord have mercy on you.
  • by Me! Location: Ky on Jul 13, 2008 at 04:59 AM
    I personally do not nor would I ever handle snakes as a religious practice. But if this is what the man had the snakes for, then he shouldn't be charged and given his snakes back. Freedom of religion extends to handling snakes as well.Clearly the snakes of the church wouldn't be mistreated.So what is the problem with a church having them? This has been a practice in Holiness churches for many many years. If they were to get struck by one of these reptiles then it was their own fault.Leave them alone and let them worship in their own manner!

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