FORT DODGE, Iowa- The Pastor of the Lutheran Church who died here on Wednesday was known by some as a Pastor to the Community.
Al Henderson was the driving force behind 'SOS', or Serving Our Servants. The group was dedicated to ministering to first responders like police, firefighters, sheriff deputies and the State Patrol. The group also worked with Emergency Responders and Emergency room workers.
Henderson, 64, died of injuries during an assault outside St. Paul's Lutheran Church.
“Pastor Henderson was deeply involved in SOS,” said Ryan Gruenberg, of the Fort Dodge Police Department, “Basically help them out anytime if needed they may have doing little things like bringing them food.”
“As our chaplain he would show up some of the hard times if we had a fire or if he knew that maybe there was a bad call that we went on,” said Lt. Nathan Conrad of the Fort Dodge Fire Department, “He would come in check and try to find out who is on the call, so we can touch base with them.”
Last March Pastor Henderson was the organizer for an award ceremony honoring local fire and emergency workers who went above and beyond the call of duty. He also climbed to the roof to take donations to fight malaria in Africa, that was in 2012.
This is not the first time St. Paul Lutheran Church has seen crime up close. In 1999 the church was burned to the ground by an arsonist. The church built a brand new structure, which opened in 2003.
Today Fort Dodge Fighters were pushing on.
“The person that we would be here for this type of thing was Pastor Al, and he’s not here so we’ve had other pastors that have offered to come and talk to us,” said Conrad.
If you would like to know more about Fort Dodge Serving Our Servants, click here.