Phelps founded the church 59 years ago in Topeka, Kan., and rose to notoriety with its homophobic platform and protests at military funerals.
In fact, thanks in no small part to Phelps' actions, in 2006, President Bush signed a law establishing a 150-ft buffer prohibiting picketing around military funerals within an hour of service, USA Today explains. In 2012, President Obama expanded the no-picketing perimeter to 300-ft and doubled the time to within two hours of service.
Phelps was excommunicated from his own church in August of 2013. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the excommunication occurred after Phelps advocated for kinder treatment of some of its members.