Salvation on Sand Mountain : snake handling and redemption in southern Appalachia

by Covington, Dennis.

Format: Print Book 1995
Availability: Available at 2 Libraries 2 of 2 copies
Available (2)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Mezzanine - Non-fiction BX7990.H6 C68 1995
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Mezzanine - Non-fiction
Call Number  BX7990.H6 C68 1995
Cooper-Siegel Community Library Non-Fiction 289.9 COV
Location  Cooper-Siegel Community Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  289.9 COV
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "This fascinating work catches the essence of a place, southern Appalachia, its people, and the author's personal journey into his past. Covington is descended from the poor southern, Scotch-Irish people in this region. His ancestors came down from Stone Mountain to work the steel mills of Birmingham, Alabama. They were members of the still existent snake handlers, religious mystics who "cast out demons, drink strychnine, run blowtorches up their arms and drape themselves with rattlesnakes." Covington's journey began, more or less, when he covered the trial of Glenn Summerford, a southern preacher accused of attempting to murder his wife with rattlesnakes. In delving deeper and deeper into the pair's family and religious life, Covington became mesmerized. He attended several services at Summerford's former church--the Church of Jesus with Signs Following. "It's not true that you become used to the noise and confusion of a snake handling Holiness service. On the contrary, you become enmeshed in it. It is theater at its most intricate--improvisational, spiritual jazz." Watching his own daughter's gusto at one New Year's Eve service, the author started a genealogical search for his family's link to this evolving religion. His story is a sensitive look at the people and practices, even though he finally distances himself from their beliefs. ~--Denise Perry Donavin"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "After Covington, a writing instructor at the University of Alabama, novelist (Lizard) and freelance journalist, covered the trial of a preacher convicted of attempting to murder his wife with rattlesnakes, he was invited to attend a snake-handling service in Scottsville, Ala. He found the service exhilarating and unsettling; he felt a kinship with the people, for he was only two generations removed from the hill country of Appalachia. Of Scottish-Irish descent, the handlers are religious mystics who believe in demons, drink strychnine and drape rattlesnakes around their bodies. Covington attended other services with Brother Carl Porter; he eventually handled a huge rattlesnake, and recalls that at the time, he felt absolutely no fear. This is a captivating glimpse of an exotic religious sect. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Covington, Dennis.
Snake cults (Holiness churches) -- Southern States.
Snake cults (Holiness churches) -- Appalachian Region, Southern.
Southern States -- Church history.
Appalachian Region -- Church history.
Publisher Reading, Mass. :Addison-Wesley,1995
Language English
Description xv, 240 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
ISBN 0201622920 :
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