Fred Phelps Dead at 84

Fred Phelps, the Meridian native who founded the controversial Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, has died.

Church officials say the 84-year-old died Thursday of natural causes.

Phelps' group was known for saying God hates homosexuals and picketing military funerals. Family members say he had recently been kicked out of the organization.

Phelps was a graduate of Meridian High School. His mother is buried at Magnolia Cemetery in Meridian but there is no word on where he will be buried.