Lightning Destroyed One Megachurch's Giant Jesus Statue
A 62-foot, 4-ton statue of Jesus used to sit outside Solid Rock Church in Monroe, Ohio. And something about it inspired slightly less religious awe than other giant religious sculptures.
Maybe it was the garish electronic signboard right in front of it. Maybe it was because Solid Rock Church is a megachurch, and unless you're a member of one yourself, you probably know megachurches as the headquarters for rich con men. Maybe it was the goofy hands-in-the-air pose, which earned it the nickname "Touchdown Jesus." Maybe it was the cheap-looking fiberglass, which earned it the even sillier nickname "Butter Jesus" (Ohio is known for its butter sculptures).
The statue was actually titled King of Kings. And on June 14, 2010, a bolt of lightning stuck King of Kings and reduced it to cinders.
Was this a sentence from the true Jesus in heaven, angry that people had turned God's house into a den of thieves? Was this an attack from rival deity Thor? Was this completely random and had no meaning whatever? We have no way of knowing.
Luckily for Solid Rock Church, they'd insured the statue for significantly more than it was worth. They replaced it with a new statue, one designed differently. The replacement Lux Mundi ("Light of the World") looked somewhat less ridiculous and received the nicer nickname of "Hug Me Jesus."
And that was pretty much the last time Solid Rock Church made headlines. Until last year, that is, when it downplayed the pandemic and kept telling people to come to its mass gatherings, against the congregation's wishes—even as its own founder's husband was hospitalized for COVID. Yeah, megachurches can be pretty awful.
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Top image: Tony Alter