Imagine if your path into heaven was contingent on holding deadly snakes above your head while speaking and singing in tongues. Based on a Bible passage that suggests a poisonous snakebite will do no harm as long as its handler is anointed by God's power, some devotees of this unconventional ritual practiced in 100 churches in the U.S. believe not participating will leave them destined for hell.
Following in the National Geographic Channel tradition of taking you inside the worlds of everyday people living unordinary lives, the new series Snake Salvation, premiering Tuesday, September 10, at 9:00 and 9:30 p.m. ET, follows two pastors of this creed who frequently battle the law, a disapproving society and sometimes their own families to lead their faithful followers to righteousness. For pastors Jamie Coots and Andrew Hamblin, the work is always hard, but always worth it, as to them, handling snakes is nothing short of a commandment from God. You can call them crazy, but they are determined to keep their tradition alive no matter the cost. (Source: National Geographic Channel)
It's fall in Appalachia, and Pastors Andrew Hamblin and Jamie Coots have one thing on their mind: getting more snakes before they go into hibernation in their dens. The two hatch a plan to attend a reptile trading show in South Carolina called Repticon, where snakes are available both for sale and for trade. Andrew pawns his guitar in order to have enough cash to make a purchase, while Jamie thankfully has several newborn baby rattlesnakes that he can use as currency at the convention.