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113: The New IFB: Even More Hate

Fred Phelps (1991 – 2014)

As Hyles star began to fade in the 1990’s, a new surge of anti-LGBTQ+ activism was on the rise in Topeka, Kansas. Fred Phelps was born a few years after Jack Hyles but his infamy wouldn’t come until much later in life. Unlike Norris and Hyles, Phelps grew up in a middle class family in Meridian, Mississippi. His mother passed away when he was 6 years old and his aunt helped Fred Sr raise the two children. Phelps graduated in the top of his high school class and was prepared to enter West Point when a revival meeting changed his plans. Instead, Fred went off to the Baptist super college, Bob Jones University. But quickly became disillusioned with the school that he considered too watered down and liberal. So he headed to California and took up street preaching for several years before meeting his wife Margie and settling down.

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112: Jack Hyles; The IFB’s Evil Pope

A Norris fanboy and good friend of Roloff was already well on his way to IFB stardom when Roloff passed. Jack Hyles was born the same year J. Frank stood trial for murder in 1926. Hyle’s early life seemed to mirror that of Norris. Jack was born in poverty, the son of an alcoholic who beat him severely and eventually left the Hyles family all together. Like Norris before him, Hyles found comfort in the world of the fiery Baptist preaching. After serving in the Army during World War II, Hyles returned and attended East Baptist Bible College in Marshall Texas. He then pastored a few churches in Texas and his success drew the attention of a large congregation in Hammond, Indiana. Seeing the potential, and the money, of the wealthy and well-respected church, Hyles took the position at First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana in 1959. By age 33, he had become somewhat popular in the South, yet the move to Hammond was the real catalyst for Jack Hyles’s career. It was here that he created an empire and a worldwide name – as far as the IFB goes. It was also here that he created what most experts have classified as a cult. 

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111: The IFB: Fundamentals of Hate

Today we are going to deep dive into the world that Evan belonged to for the first 23 years of his life. A world that many consider bizarre yet harmless. While others, often those who have left this type of environment or similar ones, recognize the lasting impacts of the IFB on local communities and the U.S. as a whole. It should be noted upfront that this is an overview of the Independent Fundamental Baptists and we do not have the time to devote to a full history of the movement. Nor are we the appropriate platform to present such a detailed narrative.

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68: Leaving A Cult

Today we go a bit off topic and get personal. Some viewers have requested more insight into the cult and environment in which Evan grew up. So in this episode we pull Evan and two of his sisters to discuss the cult of the Independent Fundamental Baptist, also known as the IFB.

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