PIERZ -- This week in our Home Town Spotlight series we head up to Pierz and tour the historic church on the hill.

St. Joseph's Church was built before the town was officially established as Pierz.

"The original name of the town was Rich Prairie because a large part of the area was prairie land. Father Pierz started the parish and after he died they named the time after him, " says Al Pekareck.

Dan Loscheider and Pekareck are members of the Parish Council. They say the church has had a long standing history for many families.

"My great grandparents were parishioners here, my grandparents and I moved back to the area just because of the church and the small town feel," says Loscheider.

Over the years the church has remained the same, with the exception of a few expansions, for weekly masses and other services. The church was even added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places back in 1985.

"To me it's a nice representation of the faith in the area," says Pekareck.

But with each year that passes, the churches age continues to show. Loscheider says they are in the process of fundraising to help preserve its history.

"The next thing on our agenda is to make sure our stain glass windows are preserved. The original wood frames around the windows are starting to rot and need to be repaired," says Loscheider.

Loscheider says they are selling raffle tickets for a chance to win a $10,000 cash prize, with all proceeds from the tickets going towards the repairs.

Loscheider and Pekareck say St. Joseph holds a special place in the hearts of the parishioners, with many calling the church home.

(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)