Outside the tiny church, some people said they came because they wanted to show support for those affected by the tragedy.
"You live here, and you know it's a way of life," said Christina Pauley of Whitesville. "This community is so small -- everybody knows everybody."
Her parents were both underground miners, and they first met in a coal mine, she said.
Pauley, who has a year left at Marshall University, said she and her boyfriend were considering working at a mine to help pay for college.
But after Monday's accident, they had abandoned that plan, she said.
Paul Lombardi, who moved to West Virginia from the New York City area a few years ago, said Monday's disaster reminded him of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. But in the kind of community where the waitress knows your breakfast order without even asking, the devastation is even worse, he said.
"Our town is turned upside down overnight," he said.
Reach Andrew Clevenger at acleven...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1723.