The Rev. Fred Phelps Sr., who founded a Kansas church that’s widely known for its protests at military funerals and anti-gay sentiments, is in a care facility.
Westboro Baptist Church spokesman Steve Drain said Sunday that Phelps is being cared for in a Shawnee County facility. Drain wouldn’t identify the facility but says Phelps is 84 and “having some health problems.”
Phelps’s son Nathan, who left the church in 1976 when he was 18, posted on Facebook Saturday night that not only is the elder Phelps in failing health, but that he had been kicked out of the church. “I’ve learned that my father, Fred Phelps, Sr., pastor of the Westboro Baptist Church, was ex-communicated from the “church” back in August of 2013″. The younger Phelps went on to say that His father is “now on the edge of death”.
Members of the Westboro church, based in Topeka, frequently protest at funerals of soldiers with signs containing messages like “Thank God for dead soldiers” and “Thank God for 9/11,” claiming the deaths are God’s punishment for American immorality and tolerance of homosexuality and abortion.