Fort Dodge, a north-central Iowa town of more than 25,000, is mourning the loss of a beloved pastor this morning after police say he died after being assaulted outside his church Wednesday afternoon.

According to the Fort Dodge Police Department, they were called to St. Paul Lutheran Church at around 5:45 p.m. Wednesday afternoon on a report of an unresponsive male. Lifesaving treatment started immediately on 64-year-old Pastor Al Henderson. He was then taken to Unity Point Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. Authorities believe Henderson died from injuries received in an assault that started just inside or outside the church. Henderson was found outside.

Wednesday evening at around 7 p.m., Fort Dodge Police arrested 36-year-old Joshua Pendleton of Fort Dodge. He's been charged with two felonies:

  • First Degree Murder
  • First Degree Robbery

Pastor Al Henderson was the Senior Pastor at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Fort Dodge and had been the long-time Chaplain for all law enforcement and first responder agencies in the Fort Dodge area. A post on the Fort Dodge Police Department Facebook page said he,

will forever be remembered for his dedication and service for all of those he touched within this community and beyond. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his friends, and his congregation.

Fort Dodge Police Department, Facebook