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Westboro Baptist Church: Fred Phelps is dead

Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church is dead.
Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church is dead.
Chris/flickr

Fred Phelps has passed away. He was the founder and the former leader of the Westboro Baptist Church, the Topeka-based church that is considered to be a hate by many because of their protests at funerals. According to a March 20 report by the Los Angeles Times, Fred Phelps was 84.

Phelps was born in Meridian, Miss. In 1929. He was an Eagle Scout. He became an ordained Baptist minister in 1947. According to Lauren Drain, former church member, Phelps had attended West Point, but left after a “homosexual encounter.” Fred Phelps had been an attorney before he was disbarred. He had even honored by the NAACP for his “steely determination for justice.”

Eleven of his children are believed to be attorneys. It was his daughter and former spokesperson, Margie Phelps-Roper that represented the Westboro Baptist Church before the Supreme Court. It is also believed that some of them have also been disbarred, just as their father was in 1979.

At the time of publication, there was no information about funeral services for Fred Phelps. There as also no information as to how his death would impact the protest schedule of the Westboro Baptist Church.