Any person who displays, handles or uses any kind of reptile in connection with any religious service or gathering shall be fined not less than fifty dollars ($50) nor more than one hundred dollars ($100).
— Kentucky Revised Statutes, title 437.060
And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
— Mark 16:17–18
Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
— Luke 10:19
In 1946 the U.S. department of the interior conducted a medical survey of communities in the bituminous coal industry. Russell Lee had grown tired of his job as an engineer, and decided to try his hand on photography. He was one of the fieldworkers on this project.
The photos on this page are part of a series Lee took in and around a Holiness Church (Pentecostal Church of God) in Kentucky, September 1946.
The captions to all these photos are the original descriptions of the images, retrieved from THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES
Russell Lee (1903 – 1986) was an American photographer and photojournalist.