A pastor who believed Christians must handle rattlesnakes as a sign of their faith has died – after suffering a rattlesnake bite at an outdoor service in Bluefield, West Virginia. Mack Wolford, who was 44, based his belief on Mark 16:17-18, which says:
“And these signs will follow those who believe: in My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
Wolford was well-known in his region of the US on account of his snake-handling, an archaic Pentecostal practice that he continued to enthusiastically promote, despite watching his own father die from a rattlesnake bite when he was just 15.
Source: The Washington Post (edited)