George Went Hensley (c. 1880–1955) was an American Pentecostal
minister. He experienced a religious conversion around 1910 and came to
believe that the New Testament commanded all Christians to handle
venomous snakes. Although illiterate, he was a licensed minister of the
Church of God from 1915 to 1922. He was arrested on moonshine-related
charges and sentenced to a term in a workhouse, from which he escaped.
He then held revival services in Ohio, and established churches, known
as the Church of God with Signs Following, in Tennessee and Kentucky.
His services ranged from small meetings in houses to gatherings with
hundreds of attendees and media attention. He was arrested for violating
laws against snake handling at least twice. He claimed to have survived
more than 400 snake bites, but fell ill after being bitten during a
service in 1955. He refused medical attention and died the next day.
Despite his personal failings—he had conflicts with his family because
of his drunkenness, frequent travels, and lack of steady
income—Hensley convinced many residents of rural Appalachia that snake
handling was commanded by God, and his followers continued the practice
after his death.
Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Went_Hensley>
Today's selected anniversaries:
William Penn landed at New Castle, Delaware Colony, on his way
to founding the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Governor of Missouri Lilburn Boggs issued Missouri Executive
Order 44, ordering all Mormons to leave the state or be killed.
Hungarian gendarmes fired into a crowd of people gathering for
the consecration of the local church in Csernova (now Ružomberok,
Slovakia), killing fifteen people.
General Ayub Khan deposed Iskander Mirza in a bloodless coup
d'état to become the second President of Pakistan, less than three
weeks after Mirza had appointed him the enforcer of martial law.
Cold War: Soviet Whiskey-class submarine U 137 ran aground near
Sweden's Karlskrona naval base (monument pictured), sparking an
international incident termed "Whiskey on the rocks".
Wiktionary's word of the day:
A question which presupposes some controversial premise, such that it
cannot be directly answered without incriminating oneself; a loaded
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Our words must be judged by our deeds; and in striving for a
lofty ideal we must use practical methods; and if we cannot attain all
at one leap, we must advance towards it step by step, reasonably content
so long as we do actually make some progress in the right direction.
Show replies by date