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By Russ Green/Richmond News
It’s been quite a journey for Rikkz Premnath, the new pastor of the Richmond First Church of God. His trek began in India growing up in a large family in a city of 400,000 to 500,000 people, followed by a few years in Findlay, Ohio, an area with approximately 40,000, to Richmond and its population of around 6,000.
“Where are all the people?” he asked when he arrived in Richmond for his first visit in December.
Not only has his journey to Richmond been long in miles, but in his beliefs as well. Premnath was born and raised in a Hindu family in India. His father was a captain in the Navy and his mother was a housewife. He also has a younger brother.
“I come from a big family,” Premnath said. “I don’t have a lot of brothers and sisters, but in India, we count our relatives as part of the family, so in those terms, we had a big family.”
Premnath said his father had visions of his son becoming a businessman.
“Dad wanted me to be somebody who had a responsibility and have an acceptable position in society,” Premnath explained. “That required a good job and good income and a big house that defines society and status.”
Premnath started out on those goals and entered the University of Findlay in August, 2006 to pursue his MBA. After a year and a half, and three courses short of finishing, things began to change.