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.