"That's what the people of West Virginia do," said Dennis Dye, a volunteer and physical education teacher at Marsh Fork Elementary. "When there's a need, the people of West Virginia want to step up and do it.
"They can cook, they can bake, they can pray," Dye said. "That's what we know how to do. Most of our churches have just opened up their doors -- 24 hours a day."
Dye worked at least a 10-hour shift on Wednesday, which is spring break for students and teachers in Marsh Fork.
"You know how the communities are here," said Paul Blizard, pastor of Memorial Baptist Church in Beckley. "We're all touched by this."
He decided to come to Marsh Fork Elementary to pray for Gov. Joe Manchin, state and federal mine safety officials and mine rescue workers, who are working with Massey Energy officials to try to search for the four remaining miners.
Blizard had already prepared a sermon to his parishioners that ties in with the Oscars. This weekend's theme will use the title of the Academy Award winner based in the Iraq war zone, "The Hurt Locker."
The idea is to ask the question: "Where is God when it hurts?"
"That's the mystery sometimes people deal with: Why am I hurting?" he said.
Before Monday's explosion, Blizard thought he had his sermon prepared, but now he knows he'll need to draft another outline.
Reach Davin White at davinwh...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1254.