The Fire Escape
The room turns to white as Dennis Covington keeps a tight grasp on the poisonous snake that wraps itself around his fingers. Scottsboro, Alabama is where The Church of Jesus with Signs Following is found. Deep within the Appalachia hills are the grounds of the church. This is a place where a person’s faith can not be disturbed. This is a place where people handle poisonous snakes to show their faith in God. This is a place where people speak in tongues, a language that only God can understand. Covington put himself in this atmosphere originally to cover the trial of the pastor, Glenn Summerford, who was convicted for the attempted murder of his wife. Salvation on Sand Mountain is a fire escape for a man who is lost in his own spirituality. Covington finds himself in a strange but normal place; he tries to understand the reasoning behind the handling of snakes; and he experiences the snake handling for himself.
Covington finds himself in a strange but normal place. This church, located deep in the Appalachia hills may seem strange to the rest of the world, but can it actually be a place of normality? A place that most people label as “strange” can actually be just as normal as any other place in this world. Most Americans may see snake handling as the a very strange thing that they have never seen, while in
Other countries the American practice of spending thousands of dollars to make their BMW the “coolest” ride may be just as strange. What makes the handling of snakes as a form of worship to God so strange? Other religions feel that they must do exactly as their church asks so that they will live eternally with God. Does doing exactly what a church asks mean that they are going to actually live eternally with God without accepting Jesus Christ as their personal savior? No, not at all. It means that they worked really hard for nothing. The people that belong to the church ...