Welcome to H-Kentucky

The goal of H-Kentucky is to create an online collaborative environment to facilitate communication and the exchange or scholarly and pedagogical ideas among teachers, researchers, scholars, advanced students, and related professionals (e.g. local historians, librarians, archivists, genealogists), all in an open, democratic, respectful and non-partisan manner. H-Kentucky especially welcomes those who are interested in Kentucky, as well as those in any history/humanities field who live and/or work in Kentucky. 

Recent Content

Serpent Handling and the Church of the Firstborn in Middlesboro, Kentucky

Since 1990 I have attended in Middlesboro, Kentucky, various church Homecomings of the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name, a Pentecostal Holiness church. The members of this church include, as a part of their faith, their belief in the religious ritual of serpent handling, even though the use of any reptile in any religious service was legally prohibited by the State of Kentucky in 1940. This church was founded by Thomas Coots, and its building constructed in 1978. Greg Coots, his son and present pastor of the church, says that serpent-handling goes back a long time in the area.