Raleigh County church offers Sunday service honoring UBB mine - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Raleigh County church offers Sunday service honoring UBB miners

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Two days after the memorial was unveiled in remembrance of the Upper Big Branch Mine explosion, where 29 coal miners lost their lives 3 years ago, Fountains of Liberty church in Beaver congregated and held a special service for the lives lost in the explosion.

They called it "Coal Sunday." The Pastor of Fountains of Liberty wanted to start Coal Sunday to honor the 29 fallen miners and their families. Current and veteran coal miners were asked to attend church today dressed in their mining uniforms.

Veteran miner and Reverend, Danny Helmondoller, preached as a guest speaker at the Coal Sunday service. He touched on messages such as asking God for protection and knowing where you're going if an accident does happen.

"The way God can be with each person that work in the coal mine and the people that don't have God, this is the opportunity that they need to know God. Because anytime the lights could go out, anything can happen in the coal mining industry, so we need to be prepared," said the Reverend.

Fountains of Liberty also showed their respect for the 29 lives that were lost on April 5, 2010 by lighting 29 small candles and two larger ones for the souls of those who have ever lost their lives in a mine, and for all those currently mining.

"I want to take this Sunday closest to the UBB tragedy to honor our miners and thank them for their sacrifice, especially those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in giving their lives. We want to remember not only the U.B.B. men but also every other precious soul who have ever perished in the coal mines," said pastor Jerryd Clyburn.

Pastor Clyburn's wife and church goer, Amanda Clyburn, said she was moved today in service and offered her gratitude for the message Reverend Helmondoller gave to the congregation.

"I thought today was wonderful, we had a church full of people who came out and honored the miners and the mining industry. It was great to have Reverend Helmondoller speak. He was a coal miner for many years, it was wonderful to bless them all with safety," Clyburn said.

Fountains of Liberty in Beaver will have a special "Coal Sunday" every year on the Sunday closest to the Anniversary of the U.B.B. Explosion.