The six-story King of Kings statue featuring Jesus coming out of a lake with hands raised in front of the Solid Rock Church in Monroe, Ohio, was struck by lightening Monday, June 14.
The Jesus statue, nicknamed Touchdown Jesus because his arms were up similar to a referee signaling a touchdown, was struck by lightening at 11:15 p.m. Monday night. The lightening strike set the statue on fire, burning it to the ground.
The Jesus Statue was 62 feet tall and 40 feet wide at the base and showed Jesus from the torso up. The Touchdown Jesus statue was made of plastic foam and fiberglass over a steel frame. The steel frame is all that stood after the fire was extinguished.
The fire traveled to an amphitheater near the statue. The fire was confined to the attic area of the amphitheater. According to Monroe Fire Chief Mark Neu, no one was injured in the fire.
“It spread from the statue to the amphitheater,” Neu said. “There was heavy damage to the amphitheater where the stature backed up to. It was a fast-moving fire. We’re looking at $700,000 worth of damage.”
“I know the membership of the Solid Rock Church was devastated by the fire and have every intention of putting the statue and the amphitheater back as is was,” Neu said. “They said they plan on rebuilding immediately and moving forward.”
The Touchdown Jesus statue was one of southwest Ohio’s most familiar landmarks. It was built in 2004 at the evangelical Solid Rock Church along Interstate 75 in Monroe, just north of Cincinnati. The statue is also known as Big Butter Jesus.