ST. LOUIS, Mo. (CBS SF) — A grandson of the founder of the notorious Westboro Baptist Church is denouncing what he called his years of being brainwashed by the church known for its vehement anti-gay stance and for staging protests at U.S. military servicemembers’ funerals.
Zach Phelps-Roper is the fourth member of his immediate family to leave the church, founded by the late Fred Phelps, joining sisters Megan and Grace and brother Josh. While Phelps-Roper said he left the church in February – about a month before the death of his grandfather – his action has just recently become public knowledge.
Phelps-Roper is now working with a group called United Bikers for Unjust Causes – which stages counter protests when WBC members picket.
Zach told KMOX in St. Louis he was protesting as young as 3 years old. He said would hold up signs that said things like “God Hates Fags,” but now he holds signs that say “God Loves You.”