U.S. network National Geographic Channel is to premiere a special dedicated to Snake Salvation‘s Pastor Jamie Coots (pictured), who passed away on Saturday (February 15).
Snake Salvation: They Shall Take Up Serpents will air tomorrow (February 20) at 10 p.m. EST/PST, and takes a look at the life of Coots, who was bitten by a rattlesnake during his church service and died later that day, after refusing medical treatment.
The series followed Coots and his fellow pastor, Andrew Hamblin, as they led their churches in the controversial practice of handling snakes in their services. Coots led the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name for almost 20 years in Middlesboro, Kentucky, a church founded by his grandfather.
The special episode shows the obstacles that Coots faced in finding and sustaining the snakes used in the service, including brushes with the law for illegally possessing and transporting venomous snakes.
Snake Salvation is a National Geographic Television production, exec produced by Jerry Decker and Matthew Testa, with Ted Duvall on board as senior producer. National Geographic Channels’ Madeline Carter is the executive producer.
“Pastor Coots was a lovely, kind man who was good to our crew during the shooting,” said David Lyle, CEO of National Geographic Channels. “And while it may be hard for some to understand the choices he made due to his deeply held convictions, one cannot help but admire his dedication and bravery. We wanted to air this episode tomorrow night as a way to give perspective to the world-wide discussion his death has caused.”