Pastor Coots, before his death, starred in National Geographic's reality show about snake-handling in church and said he believed Christians were instructed by Jesus Christ in Mark 16:15-18, to pick up serpents, and they will never be hurt, as long as they are anointed by God.
The specific verses read:
"And these signs shall accompany them that believe: in my name shall they cast out demons;So, by relying on the "anointing," or empowering of the Holy Spirit, Pastor Coots preached that believers will be supernaturally protected from harm when handling snakes.
they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall in no wise hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."
An hour later, he was dead. May his soul rest in perfect peace!