Westboro Baptist Church

American hyper-Calvinist church congregation and hate group

The Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) is an American unaffiliated Baptist church known for its extreme opinions and protests, especially those against gay people.[2][3] The church is widely described as a hate group.[4]

Westboro Baptist Church
TheologyPrimitive Baptist & Calvinist
RegionTopeka, Kansas, United States
MinistersFred Phelps
Official websitewww.godhatesfags.com



It was originally headed by Fred Phelps and consists mostly of members of his large family.[5] In 2011, the church claimed it had about 40 members.[1] The church is in a residential neighborhood on the west side of Topeka about three miles (5 km) west of the Kansas State Capitol. Its first public service was held on November 27, 1955.[6]



The church has been involved in actions against gay people since at least 1991. This is when it sought a crackdown on homosexual activity at Gage Park six blocks northwest of the church.[7] In addition to conducting anti-gay protests at military funerals, the organization pickets other celebrity funerals and public events that are likely to get it media attention.[8] Protests have also been held against Jews and some protests have included WBC members stomping on the American flag.



The WBC is not affiliated with any Baptist denomination. The Baptist World Alliance and the Southern Baptist Convention (the two largest Baptist denominations) have each denounced the WBC over the years.[9] The church describes itself as following "Primitive Baptist" and Calvinist principles.[10]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "You Are Still Alive: NOW Is The Time To Repent". Westboro Baptist Church. October 27, 2011. Archived from the original on January 10, 2012. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
  2. "God Hates Fags". Westboro Baptist Church. Retrieved June 20, 2010.
  3. Crowe, Kenneth C., II (November 14, 2009). "School Plans 'Safe' Show". Times Union. Albany, NY. Retrieved July 1, 2011.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. "Westboro Baptist Church". Anti-Defamation League. Archived from the original on July 7, 2010. Retrieved June 20, 2010.
  5. John Blake (March 14, 2010). "'Most-hated', anti-gay preacher once fought for civil rights". CNN. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
  6. "Sermon preached by Fred Phelps". 1987. Archived from the original on December 8, 2006. Retrieved January 14, 2012.
  7. Jones, K. Ryan (2008), Fall from Grace (documentary)
  8. Wing, Nick (December 9, 2010). "Elizabeth Edwards Funeral To Be Picketed By Westboro Baptist Church". HuffPost.
  9. "Baptists Denounce Latest Westboro Stunt". Christianity Today. Archived from the original on 2009-10-09. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
  10. "About Westboro Baptist Church". God Hates Fags. Westboro Baptist Church. Retrieved October 14, 2010.