Westboro Church founder Fred Phelps dies
Fred Phelps, the founder of Westboro Baptist Church, died Wednesday, according to a spokesman.
March 20th, 2014
05:06 PM ET

Westboro Church founder Fred Phelps dies

(CNN) - Fred Phelps - the founding pastor of a Kansas church known for its virulently anti-gay protests at public events, including military funerals - has died, the church said Thursday.

The 84-year-old died of natural causes at 11:15 p.m. Wednesday, according to church spokesman Steve Drain.

Phelps founded Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, in 1955 and molded it in his fire-and-brimstone image. Many members of the small congregation are related to Phelps through blood or marriage.

In a statement Thursday, the church chided the "world-wide media" for "gleefully anticipating the death."

- CNN Belief Blog

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soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. joeyy1


    March 30, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
  2. Dyslexic doG

    He is a blip in the past. Forgotten already, which is where he deserves to be. Like an unpleasant smell that causes momentary discomfort, clears when you open the window, and is forgotten.

    March 25, 2014 at 2:30 pm |
  3. georgevreelandhill2010

    Phelps was pure evil.
    He was a con artist who craved attention and he got it by going against God.
    Yes, he was the one who sinned.
    To hell with him.

    George Vreeland Hill

    March 22, 2014 at 8:05 pm |
  4. joeyy1


    March 21, 2014 at 5:25 pm |
  5. timetravelerfrom2121

    Ding-dong, the witch is dead; which old witch? The wicked witch!
    Ding-dong, the wicked witch is dead!

    March 21, 2014 at 2:09 pm |
  6. gunboatwillie

    goodbye and good riddance. All the good he may have done in the past was far out weighed by the hate he spread in the now.
    This planet is a much better place without him in it.

    March 21, 2014 at 1:59 pm |
  7. chrave1956

    What a shameful life

    March 21, 2014 at 1:56 am |
  8. bostontola


    March 20, 2014 at 6:26 pm |
  9. rogerthat2014


    March 20, 2014 at 6:22 pm |
  10. Dalahäst

    He inadvertently did more for gay rights than anyone else I've met. Thanks, Fred, for giving us something to unite together over and rally against??

    March 20, 2014 at 5:45 pm |
    • MidwestKen

      Well said

      March 20, 2014 at 5:48 pm |
    • angelaegambrel

      LOVE your remark!

      March 22, 2014 at 12:19 pm |
  11. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    I wonder if anyone will organize a picket of his funeral the way he did to so many others?

    I'm with Ken, it's better not to make this a big deal. Hopefully the hate he spawned in his so-called church will disappear with him.

    March 20, 2014 at 5:34 pm |
  12. Alias

    "In a statement Thursday, the church chided the "world-wide media" for "gleefully anticipating the death."
    So a church that celebrates dead soldiers complains that poeple are happy their founder died .....

    March 20, 2014 at 5:32 pm |
    • angelaegambrel

      I know! Somewhere, Alanis Morrisette is singing, "Isn't it ironic..."

      March 22, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
  13. Akira

    From Monday's article:
    “Fred Phelps has health issues,” the church said in a statement Sunday, “but the idea that someone would suggest that he is near death, is not only highly speculative, but foolish considering that all such matters are the sole prerogative of God.”

    Foolish was denying it. But this church and its family have been in denial for years, so....

    March 20, 2014 at 5:29 pm |
    • angelaegambrel

      Health issues weren't his only issues, but I'm sure his church doesn't realize that...

      March 22, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
  14. MidwestKen

    Personally, i'd rather his death go unremarked.

    March 20, 2014 at 5:27 pm |
    • Doris


      March 20, 2014 at 5:58 pm |
  15. Akira


    March 20, 2014 at 5:18 pm |
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.