Faith healing, speaking in tongues, and taking up serpents in the name of God!

photography by Russell Lee

  All photos on this page: Russell Lee (Department of the Interior/Solid Fuels Administration For War).

Handling of serpents, a part of the ceremony at the Pentecostal Church of God.

This coal camp offers none of the modern types of amusement and many of the people attend the services of this church more for the mass excitement and emotionalism than because of belief in the tenets of this church. Lejunior, Harlan County, Kentucky, September 15, 1946.

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

Going to Sunday school at the Pentecostal Church of God.

Lejunior, Harlan County, Kentucky, September 15, 1946.

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

Healing "laying on of hands" ceremony in the Pentecostal Church of God.

Lejunior, Harlan County, Kentucky, September 15, 1946

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

Services at the Pentecostal Church of God.

Lejunior, Harlan County, Kentucky, September 15, 1946.

Lucy Sergent, in flowered dress, attends Sunday school at the Pentecostal Church of God.

Lejunior, Harlan County, Kentucky, September 15, 1946.

Eli Sanders, tipple worker, loads coal on car which has fallen off cars enroute to tipple.

He is Pastor of Holiness (Pentecostal Church of God) Church.

P V & K Coal Company, Clover Gap Mine, Lejunior, Harlan County, Kentucky, September 15, 1946.

 
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