Reverend Fred Phelps Sr., the founder of the controversial Westboro Baptist Church, has passed away. According to KSN on March 20, 2014, Phelps passed away after weeks and months of battling health issues as his age rose and he was treated in hospice care.
Fred Phelps was 84 years old.
Phelps' son Tim Phelps confirmed the death of his father, the founder of the Kansas church.
Everyone now knows of the Westboro Baptist Church, and their common practice of picketing the funerals of soldiers, celebrities, and just about anyone else imaginable. Protesters against the WBC have often banded together to block them from getting near funerals.
They are very widely known for the hateful signs they carry at funerals which often state such things as "Thank God for 9/11" and "God Hates F*gs."
The WBC obviously believes that death is punishment for war, homosexuality, abortion, and many other things. It isn't often that some members of the church wouldn't be present at a news story that could get them more attention.
The Westboro Baptist Church consists primarily of Phelps' family, but has branched out a bit over the years, and brought in new members.
Numerous online petitions have already been started by groups that are looking to protest and picket at the funeral of Fred Phelps.