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Posted: November 08, 2013

50 venomous snakes taken from church of reality TV pastor

Pastor says they will go on


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By Rick Couri

KRMG-Tulsa

The snakes were in the church of a pastor and reality TV star named Andrew Hamblin.

Hamblin presides over the Tabernacle Church of God and appears in "Snake Salvation" on the National Geographic Channel.

Hamblin quotes scripture as he explains he uses the venomous snakes during his church services and will continue to do so.

"In my name they shall cast out devils, they shall speak with new tongues, they shall take up serpents," he read to Fox 19.

Hamblin is part of a group trying to repeal Tennessee’s snake handling law and claimed he wanted everyone to know he was breaking that law.

He also claims his congregation hasn’t been and won’t be, in danger because the reptiles are always locked up.

"I'm the only one with a key," he said.

Wildlife officials say the snakes were in bad physical condition and hope they improve in their new home at the Knoxville, Tennessee zoo.

Hamblin says talking the animals won’t stop his church from continuing their unusual worship.

“One way or another,” he began “there will still be serpents to be took up at this church."

Hamblin is due in Campbell County Court November 15.

—Rick Couri is an on-air personality for radio station KRMG in Tulsa

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