UK
20/03/2014 11:44 GMT | Updated 20/03/2014 12:59 GMT

Fred Phelps Dead: Westboro Baptist Church Ex-Leader Dies Aged 84

Fred Phelps, the former leader of the hate-mongering Westboro Baptist Church has died, it was announced on Thursday.

His son Timothy confirmed the 84-year-old passed away shortly before midnight, Kansas First News reports.

The Westboro Baptist Church gained a repulsive notoriety for picketing the funerals of US servicemen killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

fred phelps

Fred Phelps has died aged 84

It claimed the deaths are God's punishment for American immorality and tolerance of homosexuality and abortion.

Phelps's son Nathan who left the group in 1980, revealed his father was dying via Facebook on Sunday.

He also claimed his father had been excommunicated from the church in August 2013.

Photo galleryWestboro Baptist Church See Gallery

Photo galleryWestboro Baptist Church See Gallery