Westboro Baptist Church pastor Fred Phelps near death, son says

TOPEKA, Kan., March 16 (UPI) -- Fred Phelps Sr., pastor of the Topeka, Kan., Westboro Baptist Church, known for its angry anti-gay pickets, is near death, his son said in a Facebook message.

"He is now on the edge of death at Midland Hospice in Topeka," Nathan Phelps, who left the church several years ago, said of his father in a message posted Saturday.

Phelps Sr., 84, a disbarred attorney, founded the church in 1955, which is noted for demonstrations suggesting the gay lifestyle, which it describes on its website as "soul-damning, nation-destroying filth," will lead to the ruin of America.

A church spokesman said Phelps is a hospice patient and "has a couple of things going on," declining to comment further, the Topeka Capital-Journal said.

Other online sources are reporting Phelps Sr. may be near death, the Kansas City Star said Sunday.


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