Jesus statue struck by lightning set to be replaced

POSTED: 3:55 PM Jun 18 2012
MONROE, Ohio -

A towering roadside Jesus statue destroyed two years ago in a lightning fire will be replaced later this summer in southwest Ohio.

A new 51-foot statue should be in place by late July at the Solid Rock Church along Interstate 75. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports several sculpture pieces will be made at a plant near Dayton in the next two weeks and then trucked to the Monroe site for assembly.

The previous statue was ruined when it was hit by lightning two years ago this month. It depicted a waist-up Jesus with arms uplifted, drawing the nickname "Touchdown Jesus," or "Big Butter Jesus" for its creamy color.

The new version will have a full-bodied Jesus with arms reaching out, as if beckoning. It is being constructed with fire-resistant material.