07-17-17 2:59 PM
This a the newest in a series of Images on the vanishing culture of Appalachia. They will become a part of a special collection of my images at the East Tennessee Historical Center. The ETHC houses an exhibitor of my images clued Vanishing Appalachia and toured Southern US museums for nearly 8 years.
I drive about 100 miles each way and have attended around 50 services in this particular church. This is a Holiness church where their belief is centered around the Book of Mark chapter 16 / 16-17. They believe in taking up deadly serpents, drinking poison, speaking in tongues and healing the sick by laying on of hands.
In this photo the preacher and guests were handling copperheads. I've watched services where they were handling rattle snakes and a cobra. On occasion they will handle cotton mouthes and even puff adders.
This is a very private group that I'm very grateful to for sharing their lives and allowing me to record and share with others.