Ohio Jesus statue struck by lightning, destroyed

AP June 15, 2010
MONROE, Ohio – A six-story-tall statue of Jesus Christ with his arms raised along a highway was struck by lightning in a thunderstorm Monday night and burned to the ground, police said.
The “King of Kings” statue, one of southwest Ohio’s most familiar landmarks, had stood since 2004 at the evangelical Solid Rock Church along Interstate 75 in Monroe, just north of Cincinnati. The lightning strike set the statue ablaze around 11:15 p.m., Monroe police dispatchers said.
The sculpture, 62 feet tall and 40 feet wide at the base, showed Jesus from the torso up and was nicknamed Touchdown Jesus because of the way his arms were raised, as though reaching out to catch a football. It was made of plastic foam and fiberglass over a steel frame, which is all that remained early Tuesday.
The fire spread from the statue to an adjacent amphitheater but was confined to the attic area, and no one was injured, police Chief Mark Neu said. The fire department would release a monetary damage estimate Tuesday, he said.
Travelers on Interstate 75 often were startled to come upon the huge statue by the roadside, but many said America needs more symbols like it. So many people stopped at the church campus that church officials had to build a walkway to accommodate them.
The 4,000-member, nondenominational church was founded by former horse trader Lawrence Bishop and his wife. Bishop said in 2004 he was trying to help people, not impress them, with the statue. He said his wife proposed the Jesus figure as a beacon of hope and salvation and they spent about $250,000 to finance it.

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Tom in NC
Tom in NC

I wouldn’t read too much into this other than this could be an indictment of the teachings of the church itself and the Lord trying to get their attention. I don’t know since I don’t know anything about them. But if I was the pastor there I would definitely be praying and seeking God’s wisdom and direction.

Ron Baby
Ron Baby

Does anyone remember when Jimmy Bakker was accused of wrongful acts and Oral Roberts came to his defense and lightning struck Robert’s TV broadcasting antenna?
I always wondered if that story was true.
God does work in strange ways…