About the Pastor
Pastor Richard Rusnak has been in Pastoral Ministry for 32 years and has served our congregation for the past 19 years. He first started in ministry as a Youth and Music Minister but was called to preach a few years later. His style of preaching connects with people of all ages and backgrounds.
Pastor Richard's vision for our church is to simply love people. We live in a world where hurting people are constantly around us. His belief is that, as Christians, we should comfort and aid those with whom we are in contact that need help. We have the hope that can honestly make a difference in life and we should never keep that message to ourselves.
Because of this vision, Pastor Richard has helped us to develop a working but simple mission statement for First Church of God. Love God...Love People. That statement was based on Matthew 22:35-40, which says "One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Pastor Richard graduated from Warner University with a degree in Church Ministries. He has served the Church in South Carolina as the General Assembly Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Credentials Chairman. He has also served the community as a Chaplain for the Richland County Sheriff's Department.
He and his wife, Sandra, who also serves First Church as Director of Worship Arts and Children's Ministries, live in Northeast Columbia. They are very proud of their son and daughter and their spouses, as well as their two grandsons and one grand-daughter. Pastor Richard loves golf, and watching college football (specifically the University of Alabama), and spending time with his family.