The Serpent Handlers: Three Families and Their Faith

The Serpent Handlers: Three Families and Their Faith

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by Fred Brown, Jeanna McDonald
     
 

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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… See more details below

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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940016234397
Publisher:
Blair, John F. Publisher
Publication date:
02/27/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
356
Sales rank:
841,750
File size:
17 MB
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This product may take a few minutes to download.

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