Fred Phelps reportedly supported gay rights and was then excommunicated from the Westboro Baptist Church before he died, his grandson has claimed.
New information is emerging about one of the most famous homophobic monsters in the world, who called for LGBTI people to be stoned to death.
His grandson 23-year-old Zachary Phelps-Roper, who left the church in February, has spoken out following his grandfather’s passing in March.
He has expressed admiration for the rainbow-striped Equality House, located across the street from the Westboro headquarters in Kansas, and posted a message on their Facebook page.
‘Fred W. Phelps, my grandfather, came out in support of the Equality House before he was voted out of WBC,’ he said, as reported by Queerty.
‘Specifically, on the day that he was excommunicated, he stood outside of the front door of the church (but not within anyone’s earshot but a few members of WBC who happened to be in the immediate vicinity)… I say, he spoke words to this effect to the Equality House: “You are good people.”
‘I feel like he had a change of heart after my grandmother nearly passed away, and he felt the pangs of loss.
‘He waited for news of her every day and night while she was in intensive care. I think this triggered a chain reaction whereby he developed great empathy for others… which would explain why he would support Planting Peace‘s anti-suicide and anti-bullying platforms, and their charities across the world….’
‘I love my grandfather! And I believe people DO change, if they are inspired enough! ‘
Commenters immediately thought the Equality House page had been hacked, but the administrator said it was legitimate.
It is unknown whether what Phelps-Roper says is accurate. There were also unconfirmed reports of the father of the Westboro Baptist Church coming out on his death bed.
Nathan Phelps, the son of Phelps-Roper who left the church in 1980, said it was the first he had heard of it.
He said: ‘I have heard some remarkable testimony from my niece about his kindness to her near the end.
‘I also heard that he was still singing hymns and praying to his god at the end.
‘Then there is the conflict with the “elder board”…if you sense ironic disdain in my tone don’t be surprised…that ended with his removal from the pulpit and isolation from his Church and family.
‘It’s hard to know what to believe.
‘Let’s hope it’s true and the man eventually saw the error of his ways and that the rest of his rapidly decreasing number of followers will soon follow his lead.’