The Rev. Ephraim B. Goorahoo was born on September 27, 1926, in British Guiana (now Guyana), and raised and educated there. He graduated from Central High School in 1944 with the Overseas School Certificate from the University of Cambridge, England.
He was interested in Accounting and began studies in this field while working in the Accounts Department of Sprostons Limited in Georgetown.
He attended St. Philip’s Anglican Church in Georgetown.
He married Doris R. Singh, and they have three children, Paul Leslie, Clive Gregory, and Frances Mary. There are now three grandchildren, Celeste, Justine, and Emma.
In 1954, after nine years at Sprostons Ltd., Ephraim decided to test his vocation in preparation for the Sacred Ministry and left Guyana for Seminary – Codrington College, St. John, Barbados – the Provincial Theological College of the West Indies. After four years of study, he graduated with the Codrington Diploma (G.O.E).
Ephraim was ordained Deacon on December 21, 1957, by the Rt. Rev. Gay Mandeville, Bishop of Barbados, acting for the Bishop of Guyana. He served his Diaconate doing weekend duties in the parish of St. Lucy under Fr. Fitzroy Pestaina, Rector.
On May 1, 1958 – Feast of St. Philip and St. James – Ephraim was ordained Priest, again by the Bishop of Barbados acting for Guyana.
Fr. Goorahoo began serving in the Diocese of Guyana in July 1958 as Curate of St. George’s Cathedral, Georgetown. After three years there, he took charge of his first parish – St. Joseph’s, Port Mourant, in the County of Berbice. Six years later, the Bishop (Archbishop of the Province) appointed him Rector of St. Matthew’s Parish, Providence, East Bank Demerara. The work in these two parishes included ministrations to several outstations (missions). It also included being the manager of the Anglican schools.
After serving the Diocese of Guyana for fifteen years, Fr, Goorahoo resigned and, with his family, emigrated to the USA.
In July 1973, he was appointed Vicar of St. Barnabas, Brooklyn, by Bishop Jonathan Sherman.
This work was very challenging: it included the restoration and renewal of the East New York and Brownsville communities. In this regard, St. Barnabas became extensively involved in the activities of the “East Brooklyn Churches” (EBC) – where several congregations of various denominations banded together to carry out the lofty task of rebuilding. The “Nehemiah Homes Project” – building 3000 one-family homes for low-income persons, for instance, was part of it. The Diocese of Long Island was also involved in this great work by granting a loan of One Million Dollars for ten years for The Nehemiah Project.
During his years at St. Barnabas, Fr. Goorahoo served as adjunct chaplain at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital (Interfaith Medical Center) Brooklyn for 12 years. He was Dean of North Brooklyn; Member of the Urban Commission and the Absalom Jones Housing Corporation; Member of The New York City Council of Churches; Member and one-time president of the Social Concerns and Peace Committee of the Diocese; Member and Chairman of the “Archdeaconry of Brooklyn Mission Strategy Committee” (nicknamed “The Goorahoo Commission”). He was also Priest in Charge of St. Lydia’s Church for five years.
Fr. Goorahoo did further studies at the New York Theological Seminary (NYTS) and received a Master of Sacred Theology degree in Parish Ministry in 1977. He also did studies at the Blanton Peale Graduate Institute and graduated with a Certificate in Pastoral Counseling in 1984. He visited The Holy Land with a group of clergy from different denominations throughout the United States as part of his continuing education.
St. Barnabas Church was a Mission congregation for 81 years. It became a parish in 1988, and Fr. Goorahoo was elected the first Rector.
However, on January 1, 1992, after 18 years of service, he resigned and retired from the active ministry.
In retirement, Fr. Goorahoo did the Basic Education Course in the dynamics of Interim Ministry through the Interim Ministry Network and served under various ministry titles in the Diocese of Long Island. Such as “supply priest,” “interim,” “part-time interim,” “priest in charge,” and “priest associate.” He also served as “interim” at All Souls’ Church, Harlem, in the Diocese of New York, St. Mary’s Church, Brooklyn, Church of the Resurrection, Kew Gardens, and assisted at Trinity St. Johns, Hewlett for several years. Fr. Goorahoo has continuously served St. Peters as supply priest and is now one of two honorary associates appointed by Fr. Foster.
While enjoying retirement, Fr. Goorahoo and his wife have been able to visit various places abroad. They have gone on cruises and tours to some Caribbean Islands, Alaska, Hawaii, the Greek Islands, Rome, Florence, Barcelona, Ephesus, and Patmos. They have also visited London, Paris, New Delhi, and other cities in North India.
Fr. Goorahoo is grateful to the 8th Bishop of Long Island, the Rt. Rev. Lawrence Provenzano, the late Bishop Walker, and their predecessors for allowing him to serve in the diocese. He fondly remembers the late Bishop Richard B. Martin to fellow clergy and all congregants in parishes where he served for the many prayers, love, and support shown to him and his family over the years.
With his lovely and devoted wife Doris, until her death in 2019, and all members of his family, he gives special thanks for the privilege of sharing in the Lord’s ministry over the past sixty-three years and is still functioning as a supply priest in the diocese at age 95