Church members react to conviction of man accused of killing Fort Dodge pastor

Published: May. 2, 2021 at 4:29 PM CDT
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FORT DODGE, Iowa (KCCI) - Members of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Fort Dodge are reacting to the conviction of the man accused of killing their pastor, according to a report by KCCI.

A jury has found Joshua Pendleton guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Reverend Allen Henderson.

Henderson was brutally attacked and killed outside St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in the fall of 2019.

“We were relieved because we feel that was the right decision,” said his wife, Kris Henderson, told KCCI.

Pendelton’s insanity defense did not convince the jury. As the trial ended, reporters from the Fort Dodge Messenger captured a photo showing Henderson’s widow hugging Mel Pendelton, the father of Joshua Pendleton.

“We hugged and embraced. He cried. We cried,” Henderson said. “We wanted him to know it wasn’t his fault because he just felt so bad,”

“We were relieved it was like a weight off our shoulders,” said the Reverend Kendall Meyer, St. Paul’s new pastor. He said it’s been a tough time living without the church’s charismatic leader.

“Afterwards we were like, ‘This is God working through this and working through the opportunity for us to be able to know that justice has been served,’” Meyer said.

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