12th Street Topeka, Kansas 66604 U. 22, Placards ! PDF first public service was held on the afternoon of November 27, 1955.
The WBC is not affiliated with any Baptist denomination, although it describes itself as Primitive Baptist and following the five points of Calvinism. Westboro Baptist Church originated as a branch of the East Side Baptist Church, established in 1931 on the east side of Topeka. Westboro Baptist began picketing Gage Park in Topeka in 1991, saying it was a den of anonymous homosexual activity. Soon, their protests had spread throughout the city, and within three years the church was traveling across the country. Phelps explained in 1994 that he considered the negative reaction to the picketing to be proof of his righteousness. On August 20, 1995, a pipe bomb exploded outside the home of Shirley Phelps-Roper, the daughter of Fred Phelps.
The blast damaged an SUV, a fence, and part of the house, but no one was injured. In 1996, two men were arrested for the bombing, and both admitted to causing the blast. Fred Phelps died of natural causes on March 19, 2014. His daughter Shirley said that a funeral would not be held because Westboro does not « worship the dead ».