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(WBIR-Middlesboro) A snake-handling pastor is back at church after a rattlesnake bit him earlier this week.

Cody Coots, 21, took over as pastor at Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name in Middlesboro, Ky. after his father, Jamie Coots, died from a snakebite in February.

On Monday, a 6-foot long canebrake rattlesnake bit his right hand while he was removing snakes from a cage.

Coots called an ambulance crew but signed a waiver, refusing treatment.

"When I first got bit I was scared, it being my first rattler bite but I wasn't worried about dying. I just didn't know if I'd lose a limb or anything like that. But first few minutes people started praying for me and I knew I wouldn't die," he said.

Coots said he stayed up that first night, repeatedly puking.

On Wednesday night, Coots arrived for service at Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name. He held a pillow underneath his right hand, which was still swollen from the snakebite.

Coots also said the right side of his body is swollen from his shoulder down to his waist. He needs help getting up.

Coots told 10News on Wednesday night, before the church's service, that snakes would be present.

"In the good Lord's will, I'll still be handling snakes if he moves and if he don't move, I'll pack them every night. But it don't mean I'll handle them every night," Coots said.

This is the sixth time a snake has bitten him but it's his first bite from a rattlesnake. The other five times, cottonmouth snakes bit Coots. He said the pain was greater from a cottonmouth snake compared to the rattlesnake.

While Coots has a permit to possess poisonous snakes, according to Kentucky law it is illegal to handle them.

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