Rev. Dr. Richard Gorham
Rev. Dr. Richard Gorham: husband, father, pastor, and teacher, passed to his eternal destiny late in the evening on January 20, 2024. His legacy as an explanatory mentor, sports enthusiast, and friend supersedes him in memory.
Dr. Gorham was born on September 2, 1942, to Jack Gorham and Emma Lytch Gorham in Farmville, North Carolina. He was the twelfth child of sixteen and is survived by his three sisters: Jean Bennett, Ruby Turnage, and JoAnn Wilson. While growing up on a farm, Dr. Gorham enjoyed working with his father, playing with his siblings, fishing, and relishing in his mother’s cooking; specifically, he loved her pies.
Upon the family’s move to Baltimore, Maryland, Dr. Gorham began cultivating his love for learning and God’s teachings. As a member of the Zion Hill Baptist Church, at only 15-years-old, Dr. Gorham was enlisted as a Bible Study assistant and Sunday School teacher. His stewardship continued at Zion Hill well into adulthood while he served as Bible Class instructor, deacon, and youth choir director.
In 1981, Dr. Gorham moved his family from Baltimore, Maryland to Roswell, New Mexico where he would spend the remainder of his life. He united with Mt. Gilead Missionary Baptist Church where he served as a deacon, Sunday School teacher, Baptist Training Union leader, and Laymen instructor. On November 17, 1991, Dr. Gorham was ordained a minster at Mt. Gilead Missionary Baptist Church and later served as Pastor. He was later installed as Pastor at Ware’s Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church where he served 23 years. His dedication and love for his Church never wavered.
Dr. Gorham began teaching in the Jerusalem District Congress of the Mount Olive State Convention in 1982 and continued throughout his life. His work with the Congress progressed as he served as Dean of the Jerusalem District Congress and President of the Mount Olive Missionary Baptist State Congress. As Congress President, Dr. Gorham shared his enthusiasm for Christian education and pride for his Nation. It is because of his service that the Mount Olive Baptist State Convention is known nationally as, “The Greatest Convention Between Two Seas.”
Outside of his service in church, Dr. Gorham served in the United States Airforce for four years as an aircraft mechanic. He was station at K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base in Northern Michigan where he experienced the coldest winters imaginable; He shared this fact with every person he met. During this time, he made numerous visits across the U.S., Europe, and Asia.
After leaving the Air Force, Dr. Gorham served 40 years as a technician for US Quest telephone company. A job he enjoyed but would later leave to serve as a minister full-time.
In June 1966, Dr. Gorham married Velma McLean. Through Velma he welcomed a daughter, Avis Hall, and fathered his first-born child, Stephen Gorham. After ending his union to Velma in 1983, Dr. Gorham married Debbie Lou Cannon, in June 1988. With Debbie, he welcomed a daughter, Gloria Dawn Carrao, and fathered Michael Eugene Gorham and Miquela Karen Gorham. He was grandfather to Akeem Crawley, Darien Crawley, Chanel Nicole Lewis, and Blaise Ellis Cannon. He was the great-grandfather to Jordyn Skyler Crawley, Amiya Janae Crawley, Ava Yvonne Crawley, and Alana Crawley. Dr. Gorham’s conviction for integrity, ministry and to service survive him through the actions of his children and grandchildren.
Dr. Gorham cultivated a life for himself that would surpass his own expectations. His faithful dedication to service, responsibility, and ministry were admirable and revered as his highest qualities. He will forever be remembered for his stewardship, commitment to family and community, unique sense of humor, and notorious sweet tooth. To those who called him, Richard, Dad, Rdad, Great Pop Pop, or Pastor, Dr. Gorham was and will remain deeply cherished.
A Funeral Service will be held Wednesday, January 31, 2024, at 1:00 PM at the First Church of Nazarene, in Roswell, New Mexico with a burial at General Douglas L. McBride. Arrangements are under the personal care of LaGrone Funeral Chapel. Online condolences may be made at www.lagronefuneralchapels.com