A twin-engine Beechcraft Super King Air crashed into the Direct Factory Outlet shopping centre after taking off from Essendon Airport, just outside Melbourne in Victoria. It was 45 minutes before the mall was due to open.
All five people on the plane - an Australian pilot and four Americans - died. No one on the ground was injured. 60 firefighters were needed to tackle the blaze caused by the crash.
Rev Michael Danaher, from St Andrew's Anglican Church in Essendon, told Premier: "It's been a very sombre feeling.
"We've just been praying for the victims of the crash and all those who're involved in the recovery efforts and we'll be praying this evening when we gather for our parish council meeting.
"Give thanks to God for the lives who died in the incident today but also be praying for their families and friends who obviously will be in a period of tremendous sadness and grief.
"Prayers would be much welcomed and appreciated."
The pilot has been identified as Max Quartermain, and families have identified two victims so far: Greg Reynolds De Haven and Russell Munsch.
It's understood the small aircraft suffered an engine failure on its way to King Island, a popular holiday destination.
Listen to Premier's Aaron James speaking to Rev Michael Danaher: