We have all kinds of evidence that we don’t live in a safe garden as Luther used to say, Everyday we get up get our coffee and go out into the world not knowing what is going to happen. Accidents, sudden death, destruction, crazy things that happen, show how fragile life can be and also how fragile memory is. Al Henderson was a Pastor at Concordia Lutheran Church LCMS in Williston North Dakota back in the 90’s and it jarred my memory to see the announcement that he had been killed in Fort Dodge Iowa. I had been in the District 12 years by then and had seen many Pastors come and go. If my memory serves Henderson was a second career Pastor. Second career guys sometime have an interesting time because working in the so called secular world as managers or executives does not always translate into a rural ministry or a small town. I vaguely remember thinking he was going through the process of figuring out the Pastors job. I don’t remember a lot of talking with him but the announcement of his death struck me. The reaction of the Sheriff Lt. to the crime scene struck me hard.
Henderson was the chaplain of the Fort Dodge Police Department, Webster County Sheriff Department, Iowa State Patrol and Fort Dodge Fire Department and also the Pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran in Fort Dodge, The reaction in the picture tells something of his effect on the officers there.
Henderson was allegedly murdered by a local man who had or was trying to break into the church.
There is also a Minnesota connection and that is that Henderson was born in New Ulm MN and is now buried there. Visitation was last night in Fort Dodge and he was buried this morning in New Ulm. The churches involved are all named St. Paul’s.
The information above comes from the Fort Dodge Messenger and Laufersweiler-Sievers Funeral Home