PREVIEW: Author talks about leaving Westboro Baptist Church


WATERTOWN, S.D. (KELO) — The notorious Westboro Baptist Church out of Kansas is known for its hateful rhetoric and protests of gays, Jews, Muslims, Catholics, military funerals and more. 

The granddaughter of its founder, Fred Phelps, left the church in 2012. 

Now Megan Phelps-Roper calls South Dakota home. 

KELOLAND’s Angela Kennecke sat down with Phelps-Roper, as she prepared to sign copies of her new book, Unfollow: A Memoir of Loving and Leaving the Westboro Baptist Church.

Phelps-Roper is signing her memoir at DDR Books in Watertown at 7 p.m., then she’s headed to New York for Glamour Magazine women of the Year summit, followed by a European book tour.  

Phelps-Roper’s journey has been astounding. 

Her parents brought her to the picket line at just 5-years-old and she held up a sign that read, “Gays are worth of death.” 

She became the mouthpiece on social media for the Westboro Church, but it is also the arena where she began to change hear heart and mind about the doctrine. 

“It took me a few years of being on Twitter before it finally really occurred to me that we might be wrong. I wasn’t looking to have my mind changed. I just did because of these really wonderful people I encountered there who were willing to have conversations with me, even though they absolutely thought what I was dong and saying was abhorrent and destructive,” Phelps-Roper said. 

Coming up Wednesday at 10, we hear how social media also led her to her South Dakota husband. 

See how Phelps-Roper is building bridges with groups that she used to protest.

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