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.