Fred Phelps is dying. The excommunicated founder of the Westboro Baptist Church has been admitted to a hospice in Shawnee County, Kansas. According to a March 16 report by the Topeka-Capital Journal, the church's spokesperson, Steve Drain, has confirmed the former Westboro Baptist Church leader has “a couple of things going on” concerning his health.
Steve Drain attempted to downplay Fred Phelps condition. Despite that, Nate Phelps posted on his Facebook page that Fred Phelps was “on the edge of death at Midland Hospice.” Nate Phelps is the estranged son of the Westboro Baptist Church founder. Mark Phelps, another estranged son of Fred Phelps, also confirmed, in an email to the media, that his father was in the hospice and close to death. Mark Phelps also confirmed that his father had been kicked out of the Wesboro Baptist Church.
Steve Drain stated that the “source that says he's near death is not well informed.” Despite Drain's comments, it is common knowledge that hospices do not admit patents unless they are terminally ill and close to death. Most hospices only accepts patients that have a life expectancy of six months or less.
The Westboro Baptist Church spokesperson did not confirm that Fred Phelps had been kicked out of the church. He did state that the church had “been organized in the way you think.”
At the time of publication, the exact nature of Fred Phelps' health issues. It was also unknown how the fact he has been admitted to a hospice would impact the protests and pickets the Westboro Baptist Church has planned.