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New Details Emerge About Power Struggle that Ousted Fred Phelps from Westboro Baptist Church

New details are emerging in the  power struggle that resulted in the ouster of founding pastor Fred Phelps, Sr.  from the helm of the much-hated Westboro Baptist Church. Nate Phelps, the excommunicated son of Fred Sr., claims that his father lost his role within the church after advocating for a kindness in internal church affairs.

According to Nate, the power struggle began after church members sought to fire long-time spokesperson Shirley Phelps-Roper from her visible role as mouthpiece of the church. An all-male elders board was formed to govern the church, ultimately ousting Phelps-Roper and then turning on their founder when he questioned the board’s tactics and cruelty.

“They took the one thing that meant everything to the man,” Nate Phelps said of his estranged father. “That old man and his reason to exist have gone away.”

After Phelps was removed from his role in the church for allegedly calling for the members to be kinder to one another, the elders booted the pastor and his wife from his longtime home above the church. Phelps, Sr. is now in a hospice where he is widely thought to be near death.

When asked about Fred Phelps, Sr., current Westboro Baptist Church spokesperson Steve Drain refused to provide details about their founding pastor and his apparent fall from grace.

“We don’t discuss our internal church dealings with anybody,” he said on Sunday.

A blog posted by the WBC community (a site maintained by Drain), though, while making little mention of founder Phelps, did make it clear the elder’s board is firmly in charge. “The church has no singular human leader – our head is the Lord Jesus Christ,” the blog demanded, “The church currently has 8 male members who have been serving the church in the capacity of ‘elders’ for several years (this word is synonymous with ‘bishop,’ ‘pastor,’ and ‘overseer’) – all of whom minister to the members of the church, preach, and are involved in doctrine and teaching.”

The church also claims that neither the excommunication of Fred Phelps, Sr. nor is rumored death will not impact the church and their message. “The church of the Lord Jesus Christ does not rise or fall with any man – in fact, the Lord doesn’t need ANY of us. This is still a nation and world awash in sin. We will still warn you of this condition, out of our love and fear of the Lord, and out of our love for our neighbors,” the blog read followed by the churches hallmark hate-filled rant.

Photo Credit: CBS

About the author

Tamar is a New York based freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in over 15 publications. You can catch her work regularly on Issue Hawk, Latest, Jspace, and MediaGlobal.