Ohio Church's Jesus Statue Replacing 'Touchdown Jesus' Expected in September

An Ohio church that once had a large statue of Jesus Christ which was destroyed by a lightning strike should have a new statue in its place come September.

Solid Rock Church of Monroe is expecting to have a new Jesus statue, dubbed "Lux Mundi" ("Light of the World" in Latin) put in place of the former statue, which was destroyed in 2010 by a lightning strike.

Ron Carter, administrator at Solid Rock, told The Christian Post that at present the 60-plus foot statue was being completed at a facility run by Display Dynamics, Inc. of Clayton, Ohio.

"The statue is being shaped and coated at Display Dynamic in Clayton, Ohio. It will be delivered onsite around September 10th," said Carter.

"After the parts of the statue are onsite, they will be assembled onto a steel structure that is already on site. This process should take two to three weeks."

In 2004, Solid Rock Church erected a large statue of Jesus in front of their amphitheater worship space, which was next to Interstate 75. Originally called the "King of Kings" statue, the landmark got the nickname "Touchdown Jesus" due to the arms being stretched upward.

However, in June 2011 a late night severe thunderstorm hit the area. A lightning bolt struck "Touchdown Jesus" and set it on fire. The nearby amphitheater was also damaged by the ensuing fire before fire crews contained it. No one was injured.

Regarding the issue of fire safety, Carter of Solid Rock told CP that unlike the previous statue the "Lux Mundi" had attributes that would prevent a repeat of history.

"The materials used for the statue are all fire rated and we have installed a lightning suppression system as an integral part of the statue," said Carter.

"If the statue is struck by lightning, I'm told there will be damage at the point of the strike, but the statue should not burn."

Lux Mundi will be a full body statue rather than the "Touchdown Jesus" which depicted Jesus from the mid-waist up, as though rising from the pond by Solid Rock. The new statue will show a standing Jesus walking with arms outstretched. In some parts of the bloggersphere, though not yet on site and completed, Lux Mundi has already received its own nickname.

"It's 'Hug Me Jesus,'" said Lux Mundi sculptor Tom Tsuchiya in an interview with The Cincinnati Enquirer.

"Some blogger called it that, and I loved it. That's what it's all about – a let's-all-be-friends message. Love one another."

Solid Rock Church of Monroe, Ohio, has about 4,000 members and two campuses for worship. It is led by Pastor Darlene Bishop.

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