Residents of the Fort Dodge area are being asked to do something nice on Friday, which marks one year since Pastor Al Henderson was robbed and murdered outside his church, St. Paul Lutheran.
T.J. Pingel, a Fort Dodge businessman with Serving Our Servants, is organizing the movement. “Pastor Henderson was always giving and out there helping people,” Pingel says. “We thought, wouldn’t it be nice if, for even just one day, that everybody could get together and do acts of kindness?”
The effort is being called Pay It Forward Friday and Pingel says it’s a way to honor the late reverend. “There’s a lot of negativity going around right now, especially on social media,” he says. “We wanted to just show the light and celebrate his legacy and all the good things that he did by doing a day of kindness and doing random acts of kindness.”
It can be something as simple as holding the door for someone, offering a compliment, or paying for the order of someone behind you at the drive-through. “We challenge Fort Dodge and surrounding communities because we know that his love spread farther than just our border,” Pingel says, “and ask people to do kind things, do intentional things, do random things, anything you can to just spread kindness and goodness that day.”
A candlelight vigil is planned for 7:30 p.m., Friday at Fort Dodge’s City Square Park which will feature speakers and music. Thirty-six-year-old Joshua Pendleton of Fort Dodge is charged with first-degree murder in the attack on Pastor Henderson. Pendleton is awaiting trial.
(By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)