BELL COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - It's been three months since a Kentucky pastor died from a snake bite while handling it at his church. Jamie Coots' son became pastor of his Bell County church following his death. Now, Cody Coots is dealing with a snake bite for the first time since he took over.
Cody Coots was not in a worship service when it happened. He says he was cleaning snake cages Monday when a 6' rattlesnake bit a finger on his right hand. He said it swelled, but he stayed calm, because his father told him fear would make a snakebite worse.
Coots uses the snakes in services at the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus' Name Church in Middlesboro. The 21-year-old took over as pastor in February after his father, Pastor Jamie Coots, died from a snake bite he received during a church service in February.
"I was really scared at first, you can imagine. I was thinking, oh God, Dad just died. I hope and pray I'm not going to die here in a few minutes. It was a pretty big deal to me. I was a little worried," Cody Coots said.
Cody Coots refused medical treatment and says he feels fine now.
He says he is relying on prayer to help him heal.
"It won't stop me from doing what I believe. It didn't shake me. It scared me, but it didn't shake me, so we'll still pack them in the Lord's will," says Coots.
Coots plans to take snakes to Wednesday night's services. He says he will keep handling them in church, just like his father did.
Cody Coots and his father had received national attention last year when they appeared on a National Geographic show that highlighted their beliefs.