Snake-handling preacher killed by snake, just like his dad | News To Me with George Mathis

If you lie down with dogs, you get fleas. Lie down with timber rattlers, and you’ve got a good chance of not getting up again.

That’s what happened to West Virginia pastor Mark Wolford, reports The Washington Post. Wolford died while hosting an outdoor service Sunday at Panther Wildlife Management Area in West Virginia. During the ceremony, the lively preacher sat a rattler on the ground and sat next to it. The snake did what snakes do — it bit him on the thigh.

Instead of going to a hospital, he went home and tried to recover. His kidneys shut down within three hours. Someone called paramedics when it was too late.

Wolford, who combed the woods for vipers, should have known better. In 1983, when he was 15, he saw his dad die while “taking up serpents.”

But faith, which has never actually moved a mountain, has a way of moving people away from reality.

“Praise the Lord and pass the rattlesnakes, brother,” wrote Wolford on his Facebook page as a way of advertising the Sunday service.

His funeral will be held Saturday, exactly one week after his 44th birthday.