And This Year’s Darwin Award Goes To…..

This guy:

Mack Wolford, a flamboyant Pentecostal pastor from West Virginia whose serpent-handling talents were profiled last November in The Washington Post Magazine , hoped the outdoor service he had planned for Sunday at an isolated state park would be a “homecoming like the old days,” full of folks speaking in tongues, handling snakes and having a “great time.” But it was not the sort of homecoming he foresaw.

Instead, Wolford, who turned 44 the previous day, was bitten by a rattlesnake he owned for years. He died late Sunday.

Mark Randall “Mack” Wolford was known all over Appalachia as a daring man of conviction. He believed that the Bible mandates that Christians handle serpents to test their faith in God — and that, if they are bitten, they trust in God alone to heal them.

And we see how that worked out.

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook


  1. “Jesus answered, ‘It says: “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”‘” — Luke 4:12

  2. J-Dub says:

    If it weren’t so sad I’d be laughing. Oh wait, I am laughing…

  3. mantis says:

    Darwin awards only work if you get yourself killed (or rendered infertile) before having children. As the WaPo story points out, Wolford’s father died of a snake bite when Wolford was 15, and Wolford himself has children. The stupid will live on for generations!

  4. J-Dub says:

    @mantis: Wolford’s father and uncle both died from snake bites. Of course, being from West Virginia, they were the same man.

  5. John Curran says:

    @mantis: The obituary for Wolford says he had step-children, but there is no mention of his having progeny. Found this via the Charleston, WV Daily Mail.

    If this is correct, then he is eligible for the Dawrin Award