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
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. They have feelings and thoughts like any other person would. Everything in the room seemed to slowly fade away from his vision except for the serpent that lay there in his fingers. Instead, he found himself almost lost in a different world. Instead of just going to another town to get a story, Covington went on a spiritual journey that he never thought he would experience. It is not every day that a person walks into a church to find people from the congregation holding snakes in their hands. Stewart 3Covington experiences the handling of snakes for himself. Most Americans may see snake handling as the a very strange thing that they have never seen, while in Stewart 2Other countries the American practice of spending thousands of dollars to make their BMW the "coolest" ride may be just as strange. He realizes that these people put their trust in God in a different manner than most others do. Worship is worship, even if that means keeping a person"tms hands at their side and praising God in their mind, if a person lifts their hands in praise to God, or if it means taking a poisonous snake into their hands and putting their trust in God it is still worship. Are the people here out of their mind After talking with the people in the congregation, Covington realizes that they really aren"tmt crazy and that they really aren"tmt different from anyone else. Instead of worshiping with the raising of their hands, they put a poisonous snake into their hands.