Vandalized church owner’s granddaughter makes art out of broken windows


ELKLAND, Mo. — After vandals destroyed a historic church in Elkland, the original owner’s great-great-granddaughter decided to do something special with the pieces left behind.

The Pleasant View Church in Elkland was vandalized just before Easter Sunday in 2021. Nearly every 150-year-old stained glass window was broken out.

Jesse Perkins, the great-great-granddaughter, took the opportunity to turn those broken pieces into something worth cherishing.

“I wanted mom to have something from that church for Mother’s Day, something special made out of it,” said Jesse. “When I started making it, it was like my great-great-grandfather probably put these windows in. Now I’m using the brokenness to make something special out of it.”

Jesse said while nobody can replace the century-old windows, she could still keep them in her family. She gathered the broken pieces from the ground and taught herself how to make suncatchers. Her mother, Becky, said it is a form of therapy for Jesse, using her hands to work out anger and sadness.

Becky hung her daughter’s first creation made from the broken stained glass in her kitchen window.

“When I saw that stained glass, it was kind of like she mended my heart in a way,” said Becky. “She put the stained glass back together, and that stained glass turned into a keepsake, a cross, a piece of the church.”

The Perkins family said they hope to gather donations in hopes of one day restoring the church. Until then, Jesse said she plans to make cross suncatchers for living relatives who have been a part of the church for seven generations.

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