Co-Founder of the Alberta Secular Conference ; member of the board of directors, Recovering from Religion; LGBT advocate
Nate Phelps is the son of Pastor Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church, which gained infamy from their protests at soldiers’ funerals around the United States. He is the sixth of 13 children and was taught his father’s extreme version of Calvinism from an early age. This was accompanied by extreme physical punishments and abuse, extreme dietary and health requirements, and other extreme expectations. Nate left home at midnight on his 18th birthday and moved to California, where he built a new life away from his family. He later moved to Canada and only recently began speaking out about his story after a chance encounter with a reporter while driving a cab in Cranbrook, British Columbia. Nate has now spoken about his story to many groups around North America and even returned home to Topeka in 2010 to tell his story to the people in his hometown. Today Nate lives in Calgary, Alberta. He is the Executive Director of the Centre for Inquiry in Calgary, a secular organization that educates and advocates for reason and science. He also serves on the board of directors for Recovering from Religion, an organization that offers education and practical support for people moving away from religion. He is a vocal LGBT advocate and speaks out against the dangers of religion and child abuse. He is currently working on a book that covers his exceptional story, and he is the subject of an upcoming documentary film. His website is natephelps.com.