People in WV relate to snake handling death - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

People in WV relate to snake handling death

Posted: Updated:
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Woman suffers minor injuries after car rolls on I-77 in Raleigh County

    Woman suffers minor injuries after car rolls on I-77 in Raleigh County

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:13 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:13:55 GMT
    Car rolled multiple times on I-77 North in Raleigh County.Car rolled multiple times on I-77 North in Raleigh County.
    In Raleigh County, a woman is miraculously not seriously injured, after her car rolls over on I-77 around 6:30 Wednesday night.An eyewitness tells us the woman was driving in the left lane on the northbound side. She suddenly veered off the road, over corrected,then slammed into the side of a tractor trailer. The car rolled multiple times before coming to a stop on it's roof.The witness says two small dogs ran out of the car. Moments later, the woman crawled out and ran after one of the dogs....
    In Raleigh County, a woman is miraculously not seriously injured, after her car rolls over on I-77 around 6:30 Wednesday night.An eyewitness tells us the woman was driving in the left lane on the northbound side. She suddenly veered off the road, over corrected,then slammed into the side of a tractor trailer. The car rolled multiple times before coming to a stop on it's roof.The witness says two small dogs ran out of the car. Moments later, the woman crawled out and ran after one of the dogs....
  • UPDATE: Suspect in custody in connection with Montcalm shooting

    UPDATE: Suspect in custody in connection with Montcalm shooting

    Thursday, July 31 2014 7:16 PM EDT2014-07-31 23:16:53 GMT
     Emotions were high in Montcalm on Thursday following a shooting. Neighbors were not surprised to hear of the shooting in their area, because they say, violence is unfortunately all too common in their neighborhood.
    Emotions were high in Montcalm on Thursday following a shooting. Neighbors were not surprised to hear of the shooting in their area, because they say, violence is unfortunately all too common in their neighborhood.
  • Environmentalists talk about Mountain Top Removal as Coal Miners Protest in Pittsburgh

    Environmentalists talk about Mountain Top Removal as Coal Miners Protest in Pittsburgh

    Thursday, July 31 2014 6:59 PM EDT2014-07-31 22:59:03 GMT
    As hundreds of coal miners protest in Pittsburgh over the hearing on E-P-A regulations, 59News talks to an Environmental group to get both sides of the controversy."Coal River Mountain Watch" is a non-profit organization organization, out of Whitesville, Raleigh County.The organizations mission is to stop the destruction of our communities and environment by mountain top removal mining, to improve the quality of life in our area and to help rebuild sustainable communities.Mike Roselle a membe...
    As hundreds of coal miners protest in Pittsburgh over the hearing on E-P-A regulations, 59News talks to an Environmental group to get both sides of the controversy."Coal River Mountain Watch" is a non-profit organization organization, out of Whitesville, Raleigh County.The organizations mission is to stop the destruction of our communities and environment by mountain top removal mining, to improve the quality of life in our area and to help rebuild sustainable communities.Mike Roselle a membe...
MATOAKA -

After a Kentucky pastor dies from a snake bite that happened during a religious ceremony... people in West Virginia are reminded of a similar situation that happened here.
This same incident was all too familiar to a small community in Mercer County.
Back in 2012 - a snake handling pastor in Matoaka passed away after he was bitten by a snake. We found out, the practice was wildly popular in southern West Virginia for the past 50 years or more.

People in Mercer County said they remembered these churches growing up.

"Old man McCoy had a snake handling church over where we lived but we stayed outside! They were pretty big into the snakes," said James Hall.

These Pentecostal followers believe even if you are bitten by a snake or drink deadly poison,  God will keep them alive.

"I'm just as much a believer as these people but I have enough common sense to know that the only good snake is a dead snake and that's the truth," said David White.

While many states in Appalachia still practice snake handling, West Virginia is the only state where it is still legal. Several people we asked said they think it should be banned.
However, others said that if this is what people believe, they're going to do it no matter what.

"It's not right but as far as changing the law it's not going to change peoples mind," said White.

"If they want to play with them they can, but I'm sure not going to," said Hall.

There's actually been some talk in West Virginia about this practice regarding a bill that's moving through the House of Delegates.  The bill would create a law against people owning dangerous wild animals, and some delegates are afraid that would infringe on peoples religious freedoms who want to participate in this snake handling practice.