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Published March 20, 2014, 10:46 AM

Fred Phelps, Founder of Westboro Baptist Church, dies in Kansas

Topeka, KS (WDAY TV) - The founder of a Kansas church that has gained infamy for its military protests and anti-gay sentiments has died. The Reverend Fred Phelps passed away at a Shawnee County care facility Thursday, according to a church spokesman.

By: WDAY Staff Reports , WDAY

Topeka, KS (WDAY TV) - The founder of a Kansas church that has gained infamy for its military protests and anti-gay sentiments has died. The Reverend Fred Phelps passed away at a Shawnee County care facility Thursday, according to a church spokesman.

Phelps formed the Westboro Baptist Church in 1955. It is comprised of less than 50 members, most of whom are a part of the Phelps familiy. The church's picketing began in Topeka in 1991 and soon spread across the country. They have gained national recognition, and the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil-rights nonprofit group, has called Westboro Baptist Church a hate group.

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