September 17, 2014

Elyria
Mostly cloudy
69°F
test

‘Touchdown Jesus’ replacement statue returns

MONROE — A southern Ohio church has drawn a standing-room crowd for the dedication of a towering roadside Jesus statue that replaced one destroyed two years ago in a lightning fire.

The Dayton Daily News reports that the Solid Rock Church in Monroe, north of Cincinnati, dedicated the 51-foot statue at a service Sunday night.

Nicknamed “Hug Me Jesus,” the lighted statue depicts a full-bodied Jesus who’s standing with open arms. It looms over the adjacent lanes of Interstate 75.

The previous statue that was ruined by lightning in 2010 was known as “Touchdown Jesus” or “Big Butter Jesus” for its creamy color. It depicted a waist-up Jesus with arms uplifted.

Sculptor Tom Tsuchiya received a standing ovation from the crowd Sunday night.