Preacher Jamie Coots, one of the stars of the National Geographic series "Snake Salvation" has died from a rattlesnake bite inflicted during worship services on Feb. 15.

Coots was a pastor at a Pentecostal church located in Middlesboro, Kentucky. The pastor was bitten by a rattlesnake on his right hand. Paramedics arrived at the church at approximately 8:30 p.m. However, the pastor went home before the emergency medical team arrived.

While the snakebite could have been treated, it has been reported that the pastor refused medical treatment when the emergency medical team arrived at his home. After failing to convince Coots to receive medical treatment, the emergency team left the preacher's home at approximately 9:30 p.m. The team went back an hour later to check on Coots' condition but they found that he had died from the venomous snakebite.

National Geographic, which airs the show Snake Salvation, had this to say about Coots' passing:

"National Geographic joins his family, friends and community in mourning the loss of Pastor Jamie Coots. In following Pastor Coots for our series Snake Salvation, we were constantly struck by his devout religious convictions despite the health and legal peril he often faced. Those risks were always worth it to him and his congregants as a means to demonstrate their unwavering faith. We were honored to be allowed such unique access to Pastor Jamie and his congregation during the course of our show, and give context to his method of worship. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time."

Coots and his congregation are known for using live snakes during worship services. The belief stems from a passage in the Bible. The passage from the book of Mark reads:

"And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 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."

Witnesses who saw the incident unfold said that Coots dropped the snakes he was holding after being bitten. However, the pastor picked up the snakes and proceeded with his service.

"Jamie went across the floor. He had one of the rattlers in his hand, he came over and he was standing beside me. It was plain view, it just turned its head and bit him in the back of the hand before, within a second," said Cody Winn, another preacher at Coots' church.

While Coots' family was alarmed by the snakebite, they are no strangers to incidents like this. Cody Coots, the pastor's son, said that snakes have bitten his father eight times in the past.

"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. That's what happened every other time, except this time was just so quick and it was crazy - it was really crazy," said Cody Coots, the son of the elder Coots who passed away.

ⓒ 2021 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.