Pastor cited for poisonous snakes gathering signatures

Pastor cited for poisonous snakes sending petition to state leaders, TWRA

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Andrew Hamblin, minister at Tabernacle Church of God in Campbell County, says snake-handling is part of his religious freedoms. Andrew Hamblin, minister at Tabernacle Church of God in Campbell County, says snake-handling is part of his religious freedoms.
TWRA seized 50 venomous snakes from the Tabernacle Church of God in Lafollette. TWRA seized 50 venomous snakes from the Tabernacle Church of God in Lafollette.

LAFOLLETTE (WATE) - The pastor cited for using snakes during church services is gathering signatures for a petition, calling for religious freedom.

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officers seized 50 venomous snakes from Andrew Hamblin, minister at Tabernacle Church of God in Campbell County. Hamblin also stars in the National Geographic reality TV show "Snake Salvation." 

Hamblin is now gathering signatures for two petitions. One will go to the state, asking for support of freedom of religion. The second will ask the TWRA to drop the charges against Hamblin.

Hamblin explained to 6 News why he feels freedom of religion is so important.

"Our religious rights were jerked away from us. And we are Christian people and we're fighting for our Christian rights."

Hamblin will be at the church every evening this week, starting at five, if you're interested in signing the petition. 

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