According to one of his estranged sons, Fred Phelps, the founder and longtime leader of the Westboro Baptist Church, is in gravely ill health. Here is a look back at some of the milestone moments in his controversial church’s history:

  • 1929-2014: Fred Waldron Phelps is born, beginning a period of nearly 85 years during which not a single moment of doubt passes through his mind
  • 1951: Margie Simms, the future Mrs. Phelps, meets the love of her life
  • 1955-2014: Nobody cracks open a Bible
  • 1968: Jesus Christ personally visits Fred Phelps in one of his dreams and asks what the fuck is wrong with him
  • 1972-1979: The disco years
  • 1991: Westboro Baptist Church blasted after adopting slogan expressing what dozens of churches actually believe
  • 1994: Topeka residents admit they must hand it to Westboro Baptist Church for ending all that gay cruising in Gage Park
  • 1999: In return for years of loyal patronage, church receives 200 free “God hates fags” posters from local Kinko’s
  • 2010: An increasingly paranoid Fred Phelps becomes convinced God may be a fag
  • 2013: Phelps excommunicated after advocating for more compassionate hatred
  • 1955-2014: Gets a whole lot of undeserved attention