Lightning-struck 60ft Jesus statue in Ohio burns to ground

June 16th, 2010 - 5:51 pm ICT by ANI  

London, June 16 (ANI): A 60ft statue of Jesus, which was one of Ohio’s most familiar landmarks, has burned to the ground after being struck by lightning during a thunderstorm.

Police said the “King of Kings” statue had stood since 2004 at the evangelical Solid Rock Church along Interstate 75 in Monroe, just north of Cincinnati, reports the Telegraph.

The 62ft tall 40ft wide sculpture showed Jesus from the torso up and was nicknamed “Touchdown Jesus” because its raised arms looked similar to a referee signalling a touchdown in a game of football.

It was made of plastic foam and fibreglass over a steel frame, which is all that remained.

Police Chief Mark Neu said the fire spread from the statue to an adjacent amphitheatre but was confined to the attic area, and no one was injured.

Former horse trader Lawrence Bishop and his wife founded the 4,000-member, nondenominational church.

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 dollars to finance it. (ANI)

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