Westboro Baptist Church leader Fred Phelps ‘on the edge of death,’ according to son

Posted at 2:40 PM, Mar 16, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-16 15:01:23-04

TOPEKA, Kansas — Pastor Fred Phelps, known for heading the controversial Westboro Baptist Church that pickets military funerals, is “on the edge of death,” according to his son. reported that the 84-year-old recently became a patient at the Midland Care Hospice in Topeka.

Fred Phelps’ son Nate Phelps posted a statement to his Facebook page that his father is “now on the edge of death at Midland Hospice house in Topeka.” Nate Phelps broke away from the church 37 years ago.

Westboro Baptist Church spokesman State Drain said Fred Phelps has been a patient for “not too long” and “has a couple things going on,” referring to an unidentified illness. Drain declined to elaborate.

“The source that says he’s near death is not well informed,” Drain said, according to

Fred Phelps’s followers frequently picket various events, such as military funerals, gay pride gatherings, high-profile political gatherings and university commencement ceremonies.

The church is known for the controversial signs they picket with, some of which read “THANK GOD FOR DEAD SOLDIERS” and “GOD HATES FAGS.”

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