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The Serpent Handlers: Three Families and Their Faith
     

The Serpent Handlers: Three Families and Their Faith

4.6 3
by Fred Brown
 

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The Winner of the Harry Caudill Award for Journalistic Reporting and a Benjamin Franklin Award finalist in religion and an Independent Publisher Award finalist in religion

“And those signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly

Overview

The Winner of the Harry Caudill Award for Journalistic Reporting and a Benjamin Franklin Award finalist in religion and an Independent Publisher Award finalist in religion

“And those signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”

The believers who take Mark 16: 17–18 as a central tenet of their faith call themselves Signs Followers. Their churches are located mainly in the southern Appalachians, though people practice the faith in nearly every state.

Previous accounts of the Signs Followers have focused on the sensational aspects of the religion: picking up poisonous snakes, drinking strychnine, handling fire, speaking in tongues, healing the sick, casting out devils. The believers are accustomed to being called charlatans, to being mocked for a lack of education, and to having governments try to restrict their religious freedom.

<i>The Serpent Handlers</i> allows the Signs Followers to speak for themselves. It focuses on three families—the Brown family of Tennessee, the Coots family of Kentucky, and the Elkins family of West Virginia—each of which goes back several generations in the faith. The interviewees, both men and women, tell personal stories about their involvement in the church, the community, and family life. They tell how the Bible compels them to put their lives on the line by taking up snakes, and what it feels like to do so.

<i>The Serpent Handlers</i> seeks to record and preserve the customs and way of life of the Signs Followers. What emerges is a portrait of a group of people with deep faith and unshakeable convictions.

Product Details

BN ID:
2940016234397
Publisher:
Blair, John F. Publisher
Publication date:
02/27/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
356
File size:
17 MB
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Meet the Author

Fred Brown, a journalist for over 40 years, retired from the <i>Knoxville News-Sentinel</i> in December 2007. He graduated from Presbyterian College with a bachelor’s in English. In 1984, he received a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship at the University of Michigan, where he studied southern history. A contributor to several Civil War magazines, he is the author of <i>The Faces of East Tennessee</i> and <i>Marking Time</i>, about the history of East Tennessee historical markers. Brown also worked with Harry Moore to write <i>Exploring October Roads</i>, published by the University of Tennessee Press.

Jeanne McDonald has published over 25 short stories in anthologies, magazines, and journals. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a bachelor’s in English. McDonald worked as the managing editor of publications at the UT Center for Business and Economic Research and taught writing classes in the UT noncredit program. She helped establish the Knoxville Writer’s Guild and served as its president. She is also a recipient of the Tennessee Arts Commission/Alex Haley Fiction Fellowship. The author of <i>Water Dreams</i>, McDonald writes for <i>Metro Pulse</i> and <i>Knoxville Magazine</i>. She was named to the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame.

The couple’s first literary collaboration was <i>Growing Up Southern: How the South Shapes Its Writers</i>. The hardcover edition of <i>The Serpent Handlers</i>, originally published in 2000, won the Harry Caudill Award for Journalistic Reporting and was a Benjamin Franklin Award finalist in religion and an Independent Publisher Award finalist in religion.

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Serpent Handlers: Three Families and Their Faith 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book a few years ago.I have read other things and have watched documentries on this subject.This to me is the best book that i have read on this subject because it takes no side and lets the saints tell there story and there beleifs .The authors of this book should be credited for stepping out of the way and letting the saints tell there beleifs.If there is one thing you could read concerning serpent handling churches and beleivers i beleive this is the book.great book
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was very pleased with this book. The authors, by frequently using their subjects own words, created a touching glimpse into the personal lives of three families from three different states. I found myself really identifying with the subjects.