Ky. pastor bitten by snake died as he would have wanted to

Family, friends: Ky. pastor bitten by snake died as he would have wanted to

Posted:
Jamie Coots Jamie Coots
"He had been bit several times. He lost fingers from it and everything. It was just time for Jamie to go, and his last words were, 'Sweet Jesus'," said cousin Beverly Patterson. "He had been bit several times. He lost fingers from it and everything. It was just time for Jamie to go, and his last words were, 'Sweet Jesus'," said cousin Beverly Patterson.
"From what I knew of Jamie, he didn't believe in doctoring. He had been bit quite a few times and always overcame it," said Clyde Daugherty. "From what I knew of Jamie, he didn't believe in doctoring. He had been bit quite a few times and always overcame it," said Clyde Daugherty.
The pastor's son Cody Coots is expected to continue his fathers ministry at the church. The pastor's son Cody Coots is expected to continue his fathers ministry at the church.

By KAYLA STRAYER
6 News Reporter

MIDDLESBORO, Ky. (WATE) - After nearly two decades of religious snake-handling, a Kentucky preacher has died after being bitten by one of those snakes.

Jamie Coots, 42, died at his home in Middlesboro over the weekend after being bitten by a rattlesnake during Saturday evening services. He later refused medical treatment.

His cousin Beverly Patterson says that's how he would have wanted to go.

"He had been bit several times. He lost fingers from it and everything. It was just time for Jamie to go, and his last words were, 'Sweet Jesus'," said Patterson.

Patterson says snake handling runs in the family.

"What he did, handling snakes, that was his belief. That was his grandpa's belief. That was his dad's belief. I didn't see nothing wrong with that. That was their belief," she said.

"From what I knew of Jamie, he didn't believe in doctoring. He had been bit quite a few times and always overcame it," said Clyde Daugherty.

Daugherty attends the Tabernacle Church of God in Campbell County, where Pastor Andrew Hamblin also handles snakes and considered Coots to be his mentor.

Daugherty says he thinks people should get help if they are bitten by a snake, but he respects Coots' choice to refuse treatment.

"I realize a lot of people don't understand stuff like that, but that was his belief," he said.

Patterson says her cousin will be missed by many.

"Jamie was a very good hearted person. If there was ever a time that you needed him for prayer, or to just sit around and talk to, Jamie would be there," she said.

The pastor's son Cody Coots is expected to continue his fathers ministry at the church.

The snakes are still with the Coots family. Officials say there was no illegal activity. All permits are up to date.

Funeral arrangements for Pastor Coots have been made. Visitation will be held Tuesday from 5 to 8 p.m. at Creech Funeral Home in Middlesboro. The funeral will immediately follow.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WATE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.