MIDDLESBORO, KY (WOIO/WVLT) - It may seem a bit strange for a son to describe the night his father died as beautiful but Cody Coots doesn't expect many people to understand.
His father, Pastor Jamie Coots, died after a snake bite during a Saturday night church service.
"And everybody was getting in, shouting, taking up serpents, speaking in tongues and handling fire. I mean, you could just feel the power of God," says Coots.
The activities of the evening were brought to a screeching halt after the deadly bite.
"I was there when it happened. I was standing there, and I'd seen him get bit," says Coots.
Coots says his father later passed out - and never regained consciousness.
Pastor Coots' family took him home, where he soon died.
"If he had lived and woke up in a hospital bed, he would have blamed every one of us. He was a firm believer. He would not go to a hospital. He always told us, you get bit, you either die at home, or God brings you through," says Coots.
According to Coots, his father was no stranger to being bitten by snakes and had suffered snake bites several times—in fact.
In a 2012 interview Pastor Coots said he wasn't scared of the snakes.
"I'll say this, I don't actually want to die of a serpent bite, but I had rather die and leave these walks of life with a serpent bite knowing it's people standing around me praying, as to being in a car wreck and people standing around me cussing. I would rather die in that spiritual atmosphere-even if it does mean a serpent bite."
Coots says he understands that everyone won't understand their controversial practices.
"..It's kinda like a family tradition. If you've not been raised up in this you're not gonna understand it," says Coots.
Church member Big Cody Wynn says they will all miss Pastor Coots.
"You'd have had to have heard the man sing a song..." says Wynn as he fights back tears.
Cody says while he wishes his father was alive, it was God's will.
"I love my dad but God has a plan. You can't change it."
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