1. Snake Salvation pastor dies from snake bite
Jamie Coots was holding the snake at his church in Middlesboro, Kentucky, when he was bitten on the hand, according to fellow preacher Cody Winn.
The Middlesboro Police Department said Coots refused to have medical treatment for the bite.
Coots said last year that he needed the snakes for religious reasons, citing a Bible passage in Mark's gospel.
The handlers' religious conviction is based on a passage in Mark's gospel which reads: "They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."
National Geographic said in a statement that it was struck by Coots' "devout religious convictions despite the health and legal peril he often faced".
A police statement said that when an ambulance arrived at the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name church on Saturday evening, staff were told Coots had gone home.
Coots was contacted at his house but refused to have any treatment. Emergency workers returned later in the evening, by which time Coots had died.
Mr Winn said that after the bite in church, Coots dropped the snake but then picked it up again.
"He had one of the rattlers in his hand," he told a local news station. "It just turned its head and bit him in the back of the hand... within a second."
Coots' son, also named Cody, said his father had been bitten eight times before but had never had such a severe reaction. He said the family thought he would recover as he had on previous occasions.
"We're going to go home, he's going to lay on the couch. He's going to hurt. He's going to pray for a while and he's going to get better," Cody Coots said.
"That's what happened every other time, except this time was just so quick and it was crazy."
Last year Jamie Coots was caught transporting three rattlesnakes and two copperheads through Knoxville, Tennessee. The snakes were confiscated.
Coots subsequently pleaded guilty to illegal wildlife possession and was given one year of unsupervised probation.
In 1995 28-year-old Melinda Brown, of Parrottsville, Tennessee, died after being bitten by a timber rattlesnake at Coots' church.
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2. Pastor 'killed by crocodiles while trying to walk on water like Jesus'
Pastor Jonathan Mthethwa of the Saint of the Last Days Church was 'eaten' by the animals, according to a report from user-generated news site Zimbabwe Today dated March 24.
The story has since been published around the world after it was picked up over the weekend by the Daily Post of Zimbabwe, which cited the Herald Zimbabwe as source.
According to reports, Mr Mthethwa had walked into the water at the aptly named Crocodile River, and was around 30 meters from the bank when the animals attacked.
Eyewitness Deacon Nkosi, a member of the church, was quoted as saying: “The pastor taught us about faith on Sunday last week.
“He promised he would demonstrate his faith to us today, but he unfortunately ended up drowning and getting eaten by three large crocodiles in front of us.
“We still don’t understand how this happened because he fasted and prayed the whole week.
"They finished him in a couple of minutes. All that was left of him when they finished eating him is a pair of sandals and his underwear floating above the water.”
According to reports, emergency services arrived within half an hour of the attack taking place, but they were unable to help the unfortunate pastor.
3. Pastor Drops Dead During His Infidelity Confession At Pulpit
Davis, who had been pastor of the popular Bridgeport church since 1967, was rushed to a nearby hospital and pronounced dead; the cause is still unknown and an autopsy is pending.
The pastor, who was also a certified marriage and family therapist with a doctorate degree in ministry and a Master’s degree in theological studies, celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary with his wife, Christine, last June. Together, they founded their present church.
Reportedly, the bishop did not decide to come clean to his congregants of his own fruition; instead, his wife insisted he confess his shortcomings to his faithful followers, after he broke the news to her.
According to congregant Judy Stovall, who spoke to the Christian Post after the church service, Davis and his family asked the congregants to remain because he needed to confess something in his life that had taken place a while ago. “He wanted to come clean with all of us. He wanted to ask our forgiveness,” Stovall told the news outlet.
During Davis’ alleged infidelity confession, his own children, who apparently did not know about their dad’s transgression, reportedly reacted violently toward him. According to an unnamed source who spoke to the Christian Post, “Apparently, it was his family members who reacted out in anger, from what I understand. It was not the congregation,” the source noted. “It got physical. One of the sons attacked him. I was told one of the daughters poured water on him. It was like something out of — not even like the Old Testament — but a bad reality TV show,” said the source. “My heart is so devastated because it could have been handled in a private manner.”
Meanwhile the congregants, on the other hand, were shouting sympathetic phrases of forgiveness to the pastor who appeared overwhelmed by the outpouring of love from his church-goers, according to Stovall. “We were shouting, `We forgive you; we love you,’ but the stress of all of it — he had a heart attack,” Stovall told the newspaper. After Davis unexpectedly passed out, Stovall said,”I held his head as he lay on the floor…. Our congregation is hurting now.”
Police were summoned to investigate the Davis case and have interviewed scores of witnesses. Investigators have also confiscated a video that was taken of the pastor’s stirring confession.
4. Pastor dies after 30 days of fasting to beat Jesus record
Buzz South Africa reports that the 44-year-old pastor left home on June 17 for a nearby bush to have prayers, just like Jesus did. Attempting to equal or break Jesus Christ record of fasting for 40 days, Mr Alfred Ndlovu died just a month despite having no history of illness. He was alone in the wilderness and his body was found by a stranger who then called on the police. He was known by his family and community at large as a very spiritual person whose faith could move mountains and his death surprised everyone, even church members.
5. Pastor Dies While Performing Baptism
The Rev. Kyle Lake, 33, was standing in water in a baptismal at University Baptist Church when he was electrocuted Sunday morning, said Jamie Dudley, a church business administrator and wife of another pastor there. The water in a baptismal usually reaches above the waist, said Byron Weathersbee, interim university chaplain at Baylor University.
Lake was stepping into the baptismal when he reached out to adjust a nearby microphone, which produced an electric shock, said Ben Dudley, the church's community pastor.
Doctors in the congregation rushed to help Lake, who had collapsed, Ben Dudley said. Lake was taken by ambulance to Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center, where nursing supervisor Pat Mahl said he was pronounced dead.
The woman Lake was baptizing apparently had not stepped into the water, Ben Dudley said. She was taken to the hospital as a precaution, but was not seriously injured, he said.
Pastors at University Baptist Church routinely use a microphone during baptisms, Jamie Dudley said.
"He was grabbing the microphone so everyone could hear," she said. "It's the only way you can be loud enough."
About 800 people attended the morning service, which was larger than normal because it was homecoming weekend at nearby Baylor University, she said.
"At first, there was definitely confusion just because everyone was trying to figure out what was going on," Ben Dudley said in a story in Monday's Waco Tribune-Herald. "Everyone just immediately started praying."
Lake, who had a wife and three children, had been at the church for nine years, the last seven as pastor, she said.
At a remembrance attended by about 1,000 people Sunday night at First Baptist Church, Ben Dudley told the UBC congregation that they would move forward as a church.
"I don't know how, when, why, where or what's going to happen, but we will continue as a church in the community because that is what Kyle would have wanted," he said.
6. New Orleans Pastor Drops Dead After Telling Congregation, 'If The Lord Called Me Now I'm Ready'
Pastor Kenneth Green, 56, was preaching on theBook of Psalms in a sermon titled "Down But Not Out" and made an ironic declaration shortly before collapsing, according to church member Joan Martin.
"And then he had mentioned that if the Lord called me now 'I'm ready to go,'" Martin told local news outlet WDSU.
The sudden death shocked the congregation and Martin burst out in tears when she saw her pastor tumble to the ground.
"He took a swallow of water, before he took water he wiped his face, and then he looked up and it looked like his eyes were rolled back, like there was no life in his eyes, and he tumbled over. Everybody was in a state of shock people were crying," she said.
Paramedics arrived shortly after he collapsed but were unable to revive him, according to Martin.
She said Green was a kind man who was there for anyone needing prayer and served others by taking sick people to the hospital and helping the homeless.
Green buried both of Martin's sons and was there to comfort her during her time of grieving. For that, she wants people to remember him as a man of God who died living out his purpose.
"Remember his love for God and the work he did for God, and how he tried to be everything for everybody," she said.
Green leaves behind a wife and three children. The family is currently awaiting autopsy results.
Martin said Green did not have a known health condition and described him as "very healthy."
Green pastored Greater St. Mary Baptist Church for 8 years. The church is part of the United Church of Algiers.
The Christian Post contacted both Greater St. Mary Baptist Church and the United Church of Algiers. Both churches had no comment at the time of publication.
7. Speaking of Heaven, Preacher Dies At Pulpit
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The Rev. Jack Arnold, 69, was nearing the end of his sermon Sunday at Covenant Presbyterian Church when he grabbed the podium before falling to the floor, said the Rev. Michael S. Beats, the church’s associate pastor.
Before collapsing, Arnold quoted the 18th-century Bible scholar John Wesley, who said, “Until my work on this earth is done, I am immortal. But when my work for Christ is done ... I go to be with Jesus,” Beats said in a telephone interview.
Several parishioners with medical backgrounds tried to revive Arnold and paramedics were called, but he appeared to die instantly, Beats said.
Arnold had been the senior minister at the church in this Orlando suburb until the late 1990s when he began traveling to Africa and the Middle East to teach pastors.
The cause of death was believed to be cardiac arrest. He had bypass surgery five years earlier.