Snake-handling preacher killed by snake, just like his dad

Mark Wolford (Photo for The Washington Post by Lauren Pond)

Mark Wolford (Photo for The Washington Post by Lauren Pond)

If you lie down with dogs, you get fleas. Lie down with timber rattlers, and you’ve got a good chance of not getting up again.

That’s what happened to West Virginia pastor Mark Wolford, reports The Washington Post.

Wolford died while hosting an outdoor service Sunday at Panther Wildlife Management Area in West Virginia. During the ceremony, the lively preacher sat a rattler on the ground and sat next to it. The snake did what snakes do — it bit him on the thigh.

Instead of going to a hospital, he went home and tried to recover. His kidneys shut down within three hours. Someone called paramedics when it was too late.

Wolford, who combed the woods for vipers, should have known better. In 1983, when he was 15, he saw his dad die while “taking up serpents.”

But faith, which has never actually moved a mountain, has a way of moving people away from reality.

“Praise the Lord and pass the rattlesnakes, brother,” wrote Wolford on his Facebook page as a way of advertising the Sunday service.

His funeral will be held Saturday, exactly one week after his 44th birthday.

154 comments Add your comment

Rosie

May 31st, 2012
9:23 am

GOD

May 31st, 2012
9:30 am

I forgive you this time.

ASUboozer

May 31st, 2012
9:32 am

Stupid is as stupid does…Praise Jebus!! lol

Darwin

May 31st, 2012
9:34 am

That’s called natural selection

E

May 31st, 2012
9:34 am

LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rick

May 31st, 2012
9:36 am

Darwin, you comment was spot-on. Natural selection at work.

Lakeshia

May 31st, 2012
9:36 am

Nature has a way of weeding out the dumb and unfit -

Sanjeev

May 31st, 2012
9:41 am

Darwin contestant for certain.

[...] preacher killed by snake, just like his dad Snake-handling preacher killed by snake, just like his dad | News To Me with George Mathis If you lie down with dogs, you get fleas. Lie down with timber rattlers, and you’ve got a good [...]

R6

May 31st, 2012
9:45 am

please explain to me where in the Bible does it say ” hold a rattlesnake and increase faith?” i know for a fact there are plenty of places in it where it says “don’t be an idiot”

matt

May 31st, 2012
9:49 am

‘Jesus said to him, It is written again, You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ Matthew 4:7

JEWELL ROLLEN

May 31st, 2012
9:58 am

THERE’S ONE BORN EVERY MINUTE!!!!

Ned Flanders

May 31st, 2012
10:00 am

I’ve done everything the bible says. Even the parts that contradict the other parts.

JG

May 31st, 2012
10:01 am

George, I’m a fan of yours but a man just died. Your lead is a too flippant for such a story.

Jackie Brown

May 31st, 2012
10:02 am

This life’s hard, man, but it’s harder if you’re stupid

Common Sense

May 31st, 2012
10:02 am

The apple does not fall far from the tree….

Gram

May 31st, 2012
10:04 am

It’s ONE thing to have FAITH. It’s another to be STUPID.

Read Your Bible

May 31st, 2012
10:06 am

Exodus 21:28-29
28″If a bull gores a man or a woman to death, the bull must be stoned to death, and its meat must not be eaten. But the owner of the bull will not be held responsible. 29If, however, the bull has had the habit of goring and the owner has been warned but has not kept it penned up and it kills a man or woman, the bull must be stoned and the owner also must be put to death.

Aliya

May 31st, 2012
10:14 am

The Faith that moves mountains refers to the mountains in your life that could be poverty, unemployment, divorce, etc. You fill in the blank. The bible is full of metaphors. People who take it literally wind up like this guy. He took the scripture that reads about taking up serpents, but that relates to the serpents in life such as bullies, enemies, etc and facing your fears head on.

maria

May 31st, 2012
10:14 am

good for the snake

gagirl

May 31st, 2012
10:16 am

Who gets bitten by a rattlesnake and then goes home to chill????

john k

May 31st, 2012
10:16 am

The only thing my Holy Book says is that two tablespoons of butter is optional.

itsallgoodnroanoke

May 31st, 2012
10:16 am

FOOL, this is what it is….. A FOOL who used a deadly snake and preached the word and got bit. Forest Gump, repeat the word please, Stupied is What Stupied Does, A-Men Forest…..

Frank Furter

May 31st, 2012
10:27 am

I once bit a snake on the thigh and it died!
http://www.reverbnation.com/notquitedevils

Cammi317

May 31st, 2012
10:27 am

Russ

May 31st, 2012
10:30 am

George, saying faith has never moved mountains is a poor way to phrase a flippant argument and it paints with too broad of a stroke. I don’t believe one bit in snake-handling to test God – it’s foolish. But I also believe as a born-again Christian that miracles, signs, and wonders did happen just as the Bible described. How do you know the walls of Jericho didn’t tumble down because of a people’s faith and obedience?

Helen 'Mama' Boucher

May 31st, 2012
10:32 am

“Uh, basically a snake don’t have parts. But, uh, if I had to call it anything, uh, I would say it’s his knee.”

bwell

May 31st, 2012
10:32 am

God gives us common sense. To bad he didn’t have any or use it. That wasn’t nothing but the devil. First of all any God given child would not have been searching for poison snakes, second what idiot will sit by one which is from the wild and not tamed. Then there’s the generation curse. HIS DAD died from the same thing. Only in Wva i guess.

wreckmaniac

May 31st, 2012
10:33 am

I’ve never really fully understood all of the benefits of venomous snakes until now.

ON THE DOWN LOW

May 31st, 2012
10:33 am

If you lie down with Mike Vick Supporters, you’ll likely get something a lot worse than just fleas.

Commonscents

May 31st, 2012
10:49 am

Only in West Virginia.

I Bet He Was A Republican

May 31st, 2012
10:52 am

RELIGION?

Is anyone surprised or shocked by these charlatans?

Mitt Romney’s Mormon religion believed in the White Horse Prophecy.

Most Mormons are unaware of their past leaders statements about the prophecy, but the concept that the constitution will one day “hang by a thread” and be saved by a Mormon elder seems to be well ingrained in their thinking.

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits.

Curious and Confused

May 31st, 2012
10:52 am

A man died. A family is now missing someone. He was loved by people. Even if we don’t agree with his beliefs or interpretation of the Bible (and many of you don’t believe in the Bible in any sense as indicated in your responses), we don’t have to mock him in his death. Seriously, have some respect for someone. And Mr. Mathis, you don’t have to be so flippant in your remarks either. Shameful.

jesus freak

May 31st, 2012
10:56 am

i think its called common sense!

Mike Lum

May 31st, 2012
10:58 am

It was Bush’s fault.

Wite&Rite

May 31st, 2012
11:00 am

Dumb &%$ got what he wanted, to see if he culd best Satan.

budman

May 31st, 2012
11:01 am

But was the snake ” saved “??

Al

May 31st, 2012
11:02 am

What the bible teaches is for the preacher to preach the gospel.What ever the Apostles did was to confirm who they were.After the bible was completed the instructions are to study to show yourself approved to God a workman who need not be ashamed,rightly dividing the word of God.If you love me keep my commandments says Jesus.Anything else is of the devil.Start reading and stop listening to everything you hear because you will be held responsible at the judgement. Please don’t try to prove anything with a rattle snake.He is full of deadly poison ,THAT IS ALL.Sorry the fellow had a mis-understanding.

BG

May 31st, 2012
11:10 am

God gave us a brain to use and this preacher failed to use his.

brk

May 31st, 2012
11:14 am

my mother, sister & I went to a church in NGa years ago & when they brought out the snakes we ran from that church we went with our cousins and did not wait on them to come out, we walked home which was a long way home. do not tempt the serpent, which is the devil

Bible Student

May 31st, 2012
11:15 am

Apparently even the Christians here haven’t read their Bible. This guy was just being faithful to the Word.

Luke 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Mark 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 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.

Ed

May 31st, 2012
11:20 am

If you’re gonna be dumb you gotta be tough.

SayWhat

May 31st, 2012
11:21 am

Very sad misinterpretation of scripture. Folks read the passage about Paul not being harmed when he was bitten by a viper when he picked up some firewood and the snake came out and bit him. From there, they decide it’s an act of faith to “take up a serpent.”

Renee

May 31st, 2012
11:22 am

I’m tried to understand the connection of snakes and church

Sir Thomas Henry Huxley

May 31st, 2012
11:22 am

Hey bible student. Mind if I call you B.S.? If he was being faithful to the Word, i guess that word was a lie.

SSSSSSSSS

May 31st, 2012
11:24 am

And he tasted bad!
@Bible student…does this mean the Bible was wrong?
My vote is God sees this a suicide…so where is he now?

Wite&Rite

May 31st, 2012
11:25 am

You got to understand that in W. Virginny its like that. They once had a feud that ran for decades that killed off over 68 white people over a pig that got ate by the wrong family. that’s mountain folks for yer.

Now exiting with Deliverance music playing in the background.

Dick Cheney for President 2012! Yehaw!!!!

Ask Darwin

May 31st, 2012
11:41 am

If nature has a way of weeding out the dumb and unfit then why are there still Democrats.

SAL

May 31st, 2012
11:46 am

What an idiot!

gunga din

May 31st, 2012
12:02 pm

in the words of comedian Ron White — “you can’t fix stupid”