Historic Elkland, Mo. church unable to afford repairs after Easter weekend break-in

Updated: Jun. 13, 2021 at 8:03 PM CDT
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ELKLAND, Mo. (KY3) - The Pleasant View Church in Elkland is still not repaired after vandals smashed windows and broke into the church over Easter weekend.

After growing up in the community, Archie Ritch, says it’s been hard to see the church like this.

“People couldn’t hardly believe that anybody was low-life enough to come in here and do this,” says Ritch, the president of the Pleasant View Cemetery Board. “I don’t know why they wanna pick on this church. It’s never done nobody wrong.”

Although those vandals from Easter weekend were caught, Ritch says it hasn’t stopped other people from breaking in.

“They come through the windows, and I guess they think it’s just a gathering place,” Ritch says.

The church is no longer having weekly services, but Pleasant View Cemetery board member, Kenny Patterson, says it’s been a staple in the community for over a century. His family had been visiting the church for generations and he just can’t wrap his head around why anyone would target it.

“I have pictures of when it was in a lot better shape, and you know what it used to look like, so now you see windows busted out,” Patterson says. “It’s not like it was a storm. It was because individuals had nothing better to do than tear up the church.”

Board members say each window pane costs about $160 to remake, bringing the total to over $2,000 just to replace all the damaged windows. Patterson says that’s money the church just doesn’t have.

“It’s not cheap, and it really bothers me that we never got it accomplished,” Patterson says.

Since the church only runs on donations, Patterson doesn’t know how long it could take to get that money.

“Hopefully we can somewhere down the road get it fixed up,” Patterson says. “At least well enough where people can enjoy it.”

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