Kentucky man dies after snake bites him during church service

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WATE – JENSON, Ky. (WATE) – The Bell County Kentucky Sheriff's Office confirmed a man was bitten on the arm by a snake at a Sunday church service at Mossy Simpson Pentecostal Church in Jenson, Kentucky.

Deputies said John D. Brock, 60, of Stoney Fork refused medical treatment after he was bitten on his left arm. Brock went to his brother's home where he died from the bite.

History of snakes in Kentucky, Tennessee churches

A snake handling pastor from Kentucky was also killed from a snake bite in 2012. James Cootes, 42, died after suffering several rattlesnake bites.

Coots was handling a snake during an evening service at Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name in Middlesboro, Kentucky. His son was also bitten by a six-foot rattlesnake, but survived.


Pastor Andrew Hamblin, of National Geographic Channel's reality series Snake Salvation, had more than 50 venomous snakes seized from his church in November, 2014. The Tennessee Wildlife Resource Ajency took the snakes to the Knoxville Zoo in Tennessee, but they all died or had to be euthanized due to poor health.

Hamblin went to court, but a grand jury declined to indict the Campbell County, Tenn. pastor and reality television star on charges related to snake handling.