Westboro Baptist Church Founder Fred Phelps Is Dead

TOPELA, KANSAS - SEPTEMBER 12: The Rev. Fred Phelps leads the controversial Westboro Baptist Church. (Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post)
Photo: Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post

Fred Phelps, the 84-year-old founder of the gay-bashing, funeral-picketing Westboro Baptist Church, died before midnight on Wednesday, according to Kansas television station WIBW. Last week, Phelps’s estranged son, Nathan, announced that his father was near death at a Topeka hospice. He also revealed that Phelps had been excommunicated from Westboro after calling “for kinder treatment of fellow church members” following a power struggle that led to the formation of an all-male board of elders. It seems safe to say that he died without asking that the same courtesy be extended to those outside the church.

Westboro Baptist Church Founder Fred Phelps Dies