.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Rattler bites worshipper

-A A +A
By Brent Schanding

 LaFOLLETTE—A Virginia man is recovering at his home after he was reportedly bitten on his head by a rattlesnake at a Sunday homecoming religious service at the Ivydell Holiness Church. 

“Bubba” Long, who’s believed to be in his late 20s, was transported by ambulance to Tennova’s LaFollette Medical Center, according to dispatchers, and later transferred to University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. Long was treated with anti-venom and is said to be in stable condition. 

A woman who called the LaFollette Press Tuesday and identified herself as a relative confirmed the man was from Virginia, but denied certain media accounts of the incident.

Sources familiar with the incident say the church was “full to the gills” as worshippers gathered to observe its annual homecoming. No one from the reclusive congregation — which sometimes handles serpents as part of their religious conviction — could be reached for comment. 

Death from snakebites are rare. Of the 50,000 that occur worldwide each year, only 12-15 occur in the U.S. and fewer than 100 have been documented to occur as part of religious practices since the 1920s.  

According to obituary records, Long’s own mother died several years ago from a snake bite while handling a snake at a London, Ky. church service.  

EDITOR’S NOTE: Last month, the LaFollette Press published a story about an upcoming reality show documenting snake-handling preacher Andrew Hamblin and his congregation at Tabernacle Church of God. The crosstown congregation at Ivydell
Holiness Church is in no
By BRENT SCHANDING

bschanding@lafollettepress.com

 

LaFOLLETTE—A Virginia man is recovering at his home after he was reportedly bitten on his head by a rattlesnake at a Sunday homecoming religious service at the Ivydell Holiness Church. 

“Bubba” Long, who’s believed to be in his late 20s, was transported by ambulance to Tennova’s LaFollette Medical Center, according to dispatchers, and later transferred to University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. Long was treated with anti-venom and is said to be in stable condition. 

A woman who called the LaFollette Press Tuesday and identified herself as a relative confirmed the man was from Virginia, but denied certain media accounts of the incident.

Sources familiar with the incident say the church was “full to the gills” as worshippers gathered to observe its annual homecoming. No one from the reclusive congregation — which sometimes handles serpents as part of their religious conviction — could be reached for comment. 

Death from snakebites are rare. Of the 50,000 that occur worldwide each year, only 12-15 occur in the U.S. and fewer than 100 have been documented to occur as part of religious practices since the 1920s.  

According to obituary records, Long’s own mother died several years ago from a snake bite while handling a snake at a London, Ky. church service.  

EDITOR’S NOTE: Last month, the LaFollette Press published a story about an upcoming reality show documenting snake-handling preacher Andrew Hamblin and his congregation at Tabernacle Church of God. The crosstown congregation at Ivydell Holiness Church is in no way affiliated with that church.