Saturday, August 30, 2008
“While I was praying on my knees God told me to pick up the snake. I held him out in front of the congregation so they could see him. The snake turned slowly and bit me between the fingers… I picked him up again, and he bit me in the same place. He wouldn’t turn loose this time … God told me to say a few words to the congregation.”
- Albert Teester, hillbilly evangelist, on being poisoned and blinded by a snake during a radio broadcast to a national congregation, 1934.
The 39-year-old evangelist gave his radio listeners an honest description of how it feels to be bitten by a rattlesnake to prove his faith in God as a healer. After the show, enduring great pain, Teester went blind, lost movement in his jaw, and suffered nausea for the next day. He refused to go to a hospital, instead asking his congregation to pray.
Three days later he recovered fully.
“Some persons have said that I would pick up another rattlesnake. I haven’t said so … I wouldn’t pick up another for all the money in the world unless God told me to,” Teester said.