Sarah E. Gorham served 8 years as an independent missionary. In 1888 she was recorded as the first female missionary of the AME (African Methodist Episcopal) Church.
In 1880, Sarah visited her family in Liberia. Her interest in helping people and pouring into their lives was genuine and strong, and she was described then as a missionary, church leader, and social worker. She returned to the United States and was involved in the ministry of the Charles Street AME Church. In 1888, she went to the Magbelle mission in Sierra Leone, where she established the Sarah Gorham Mission School, a place of both Bible teaching and industrial training. In July 1894, Sarah was infected with malaria. She was bedridden and passed away in one month.
Sarah was buried at Kissy Road Cemetery in Freetown, Sierra Leone.