"Perhaps one of the most interesting forms of American religion involves Christians who, in response to a perceived mandate in the Bible, include among their worship practices the handling of poisonous serpents. What appears to the casual observer as a dangerous and bizarre activity is a simple act of obedience that holds great significance and meaning for believers who subscribe to a literal interpretation of a passage in the Book of Mark."
--Drs. Ralph Hood and W. Paul Williamson
For over 15 years, Drs. Hood and Williamson spent time observing, researching, and fellowshipping with believers in the serpent handling tradition. This time resulted in a video archive consisting of 184 DVDs containing over 400 hours of church services and interviews with believers. All of the major Jesus Name serpent handling churches are represented--Sand Mountain, Del-Rio, Jolo, Kingston, Middlesboro, and Calhoun.
This digital collection of the Hood-Williamson archives will consist of a range of the available materials covering several years of services at each church and all of the interviews Drs. Hood and Williamson conducted. This first installment of the collection is considered a work in progress and new footage will be added frequently. If you would like to be updated when new material becomes available, subscribe to this collection's RSS feed. The videos can be streamed online but cannot be downloaded to your computer.
To examine the full contents of the Hood-Williamson Archives, please visit the detailed finding aid for the collection. To contact an archivist for more information on the collection, please email email@example.com or call the Special Collections department at 423-425-2186.