These Signs Shall Follow: Endangered Pentecostal Practices in Appalachia

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Melanie Harsha (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Laura Ammon

Abstract: This research explores the five signs practiced by Pentecostals that are listed in Mark 16 in the Bible. This research consists of four chapters and a short documentary. Pentecostal practices are becoming endangered in the region of Appalachia and this research analyzes both traditional and nontraditional Holiness churches. A brief history of Pentecostalism as well as an analysis of the five signs, and which churches practice them, is included in the first chapter. An ethnographic analysis of an Apostolic Church whose attendance is dwindling is the subject of the second chapter. The third chapter examines the religious rights of serpent handlers in Appalachia and argues that, with proper regulations, serpent handling should be legal. The Tabernacle Church of God in La Follette, Tennessee is the center for a strong serpent handling community whose Pastor utilizes and welcomes media to spread the Gospel of Mark 16. The short documentary explores the stereotypes that surround the serpent handling tradition and attempts to demystify the false perceptions.

Additional Information

Harsha, M.R. (2015). These Signs Shall Follow: Endangered Pentecostal Practices in Appalachia. Unpublished master's thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2015
Snake Cults, Pentecostalism Holiness Churches Serpent Handling Glossolalia

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