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Do Not Rest In Peace: Hateful Founder Of Westboro Baptist Church, Fred Phelps, Dead

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Mar. 20 2014, Published 12:37 p.m. ET

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Fred Phelps Sr., founder of the controversial Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas has died, his son confirmed.

Known for protesting funerals and picketing at gay and military rallies, Phelps, 84, passed away on Wednesday night, Tim Phelps told WIBW.

The paper reported that Phelps had been "on the edge of death" over the weekend and had been in hospice care — although his cause of death has not been confirmed.

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Phelps had also been ex-communicated from his own church in August of 2013, for reportedly advocating a "kinder approach."

Members of the hateful church were often photographed with picket signs saying things like, "God Hates F*gs", "Thank God for dead soldiers", "Don't Pray For The USA" and "Thank God For 9/11."

The church's extreme ideology was based on the claim that deaths were a direct result of America's tolerance for homosexuality and abortion, and the nation's immorality.

As of 2011, the church — which is primarily made up of the Phelps family — had about 40 members.

Westboro Baptist Church was defined by The Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group.

The controversial church leader's death was immediately met with jubilation online:

However, some insist on taking the high road — sending well-wishes to his family and not being the kind of person he was.

Before Phelps' death, church family member Margie Phelps had revealed that he would not be having a funeral as they are not in line with their church policy.

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