In memory of ‘Pastor Al’

Farrell, Optic Ink to sell shirts supporting SOS

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Heather Farrell, of Fort Dodge, holds up a Serving Our Servants sticker at St. Paul Lutheran Church Wednesday. Farrell and Optic Ink are printing T-shirts to honor the memory of the Rev. Al Henderson. All proceeds from the shirt sales will go to Serving Our Servants, an organization that supports Fort Dodge area first responders. Henderson was one of the founding members of SOS.

As a way to pay tribute to the Rev. Al Henderson while supporting an organization he loved, Optic Ink will be selling Serving Our Servants shirts.

“As are many people in the community, I have found myself wanting to do something to memorialize Pastor Al Henderson,” said Heather Farrell, of Fort Dodge.

Henderson died on Oct. 2 after he was attacked outside of the St. Paul Lutheran Church, the same church he served for 20 years. He was 64.

Farrell decided after speaking with Henderson’s wife, Kristine, and Detective Larry Hedlund, of the Fort Dodge Police Department, that she would start a fundraiser for SOS.

Henderson, along with others, formed SOS in 2014. The group provides things like water and food to emergency personnel working at scenes for extended periods.

-Submitted graphic
The front of the Serving Our Servants shirts will have this design on them. All proceeds from the sale of the shirts will go to SOS.

For the fundraiser, Farrell designed new T-shirts with Optic Ink that have a personal touch from Henderson imprinted on them.

“I have mocked up the current SOS T-shirts and am selling the new designed shirts, which are personalized with ‘Carry On,’ a familiar saying of the pastor’s, written in his handwriting,” Farrell said. “These shirt are available for sale to everyone and all proceeds will go to the SOS program on his behalf.”

Farrell said Henderson meant a lot to the community and her family.

“From his day-to-day smiles and the happiest of times in our lives — weddings, births, confirmation, he has shared all of this with us as part of our family,” Farrell said. “He has also provided support through our darkest times, and Lord knows we’ve seen our share.”

Farrell said that Henderson wanted her to join SOS in the past.

-Submitted graphic
The back of the Serving Our Servants T-shirts say “Carry on!” followed by, “In Memory of Pastor Al Henderson.”

“While the thought crossed my mind, I never made the time to participate,” Farrell said. “But I know that this program was very dear to him; it was something he was very passionate about.”

Farrell added, “This is a small step in a positive direction to help our community come together and heal over the loss of a man who gave so much to the entire community.”

A temporary web page has been set up through Optic Ink for people wanting to buy shirts. Farrell said the page will close in two weeks to process the order.

There are three different options: a T-shirt, a crewneck sweatshirt or a pullover hooded sweatshirt.

To buy a shirt, visit https://allenhenderson2019.itemorder.com/

For those without internet access, the public is welcome to visit Optic Ink, 1210 Central Ave., to place an order.