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St Peter and Paul Russian Orthodox and Greek Catholic Church (Photo: Jenna Kurzyna/WWAY)

PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — After more than a decade of hard work Saints Peter and Paul Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church is officially recognized as a historic site.

“I’m full of emotion I can hardly speak, but its just overwhelming and I do hope this will bring more exposure to the church,” Ann Mizerak, who has helped get the church on the list said.

The church is everything to Mizerak and after many years of hard work it has finally been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

“It was my life. If it wasn’t for the church, that’s what keeps me going. It’s my faith and I feel like, it’s just the way I g

rew up. It’s really the only way I know how to worship, ” Mizerak said.

Even though the church no longer is a place of worship Ann, her sister and son gather every Sunday to listen to a recording of past services.

She worked hard to have this church preserved and make her ancestors proud.

“They work so hard and they sacrificed to have a place of worship. We just feel that we would hate for that to be lost and, so it was really in honor of them,”  Mizerak said.

The church was built in 1932 by Ukrainian speaking immigrants and still maintains a unique architectural style. Many notice the golden dome on top of the building.

“This is a great building. I get to work across three counties and this is one of the most unique historic resources in the three county region,” Executive Director of the Historic Wilmington Foundation, George Edwards said.

Mizerak said she is overwhelmed at the support the community has given her and her family. She hopes this brings the church more exposure.

“It’s overwhelming. It’s such an honor for the church, for our parents, our grandparents, and the community, and the county and now the nation”  Mizerak said.

The church was placed on the National Historic Registry this past April, but was presented with the National Register certificate today.

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