Andrew Hamblin, pastor of Tabernacle Church of God in LaFollette, Tenn., declares his faith in God and his right to handle snakes on Friday before his arraignment for the illegal possession of more than 50 venomous snakes. Hamblin pleaded not guilty and a preliminary hearing was set for Dec. 17.
Photo by The Knoxville News Sentinel /Chattanooga Times Free Press .
published Friday, November 15th, 2013
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JACKSBORO, Tenn. — A pastor told a packed courtroom Friday that his handling of snakes as a part of a church service is guaranteed under federal law governing freedom of religion.