June 15th, 2010
11:02 AM ET

Jesus statue struck by lightning

If you've ever driven between Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio, on I-75 then you probably saw the six-story King of Kings statue featuring Jesus coming out of a lake with hands raised in front of the Solid Rock Church in Monroe, Ohio.

Monday night the statue was destroyed by fire after being struck by lightning.

CNN iReporters in the area are all over this story.

The gleaming white statue was unmissable, even speeding down the interstate.

Monroe fire chief Mark Neu told the CNN Belief Blog he's never seen anything like the fire in his 32 years as chief.

He said the 62-foot statue had a steel frame and was wrapped in Styrofoam and covered with a fiberglass coating to protect it. At 11:16 last night, the fire department got the call the statue had been hit by lighting and was on fire.

"It spread from the statue to the amphitheater," he said. "There was heavy damage to the amphitheater where the stature backed up to. It was a fast-moving fire. We’re looking at $700,000 worth of damage."

The chief has spoken with church officials, who have gotten calls about the statue today from as far away as China.

"I know the membership of the Solid Rock Church was devastated by the fire and have every intention of putting the statue and the amphitheater back as is was," Neu said. "They said they plan on rebuilding immediately and moving forward."

Neu said no one was injured in the blaze.

The statue made cameos in loads of Ohioans' snapshots and even made it into the documentary "Jesus Camp."

I once got a speeding ticket not far from it while on assignment. The Ohio state trooper would not give me a warning despite the fact my co-worker in the passenger seat asked if it counted if we had a "news emergency."

Check out Time.com and CNN affiliate WLWT in Cincinnati for more on the story.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Culture & Science

soundoff (1,165 Responses)
  1. Fuk Football Jesus

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! You can tell by the posts and how many people recommended this story that the overall consensus is people like what happened! Hilarious!!!!

    June 15, 2010 at 2:09 pm |
  2. Death Shall Look Upon The Followers Of Satan

    Natural Disaster after Natural Disaster.God is going to torment you and the rest of your bigot families.Enough wasting my time here posting to those who are ignorant and blind.

    June 15, 2010 at 2:08 pm |
    • righteous-in-Christ

      You are not wasting your time....it's actually really funny to see how these Atheists make a fool out of themselves. LOOOL, I am laughing at every comment they posted, even under mine....I don't care what they say at all!!

      June 15, 2010 at 2:16 pm |
    • Whosis71

      Trust me, "righteous"... You are not having NEARLY as much fun "laughing" at us as we are at you!!!

      June 15, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
    • mike

      Are you seriously calling this a natural disaster?

      June 15, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
    • NOTself-rightious

      Ladyb, aka righteous-in-Christ, aka HeisGod: Still making friends I see. Every one of your posts are ridiculous as usual. You should really come up with new material, you're very transparent. You're definitely entertaining I'll give you that much.

      June 15, 2010 at 3:03 pm |
    • Mike in VA

      Sooooo....what? You're going to leave now and take your poser death-metal name with you? Well you can go. But leave the name. It's cool. You, however. Not so much.

      Be gone.

      June 15, 2010 at 5:07 pm |

    People, lightening strikes everything; even churches and other godly structures. Therefore, why are you caught up, amazed or celebrating the destruction of a statute or what it stands for? Jesus already died and went to Hell on the behalf of man. OH, BUT HE ROSE AGAIN IN THREE DAYS. So, what's the noise about a statute? And guess what? Even the statute will reconstructed (hint–rise again). I can't get over people who believe in nothing but themselves (which is nothing) and send destructive and ignorant messages about symbol standing for kindness, gentleness and mercy. What also strikes me funny is after 911 struck down New York City, churches across the land bearly had standing room for the believers because the non believers were the first to the alters. I guess lightening has to strike you personally to bring you to the realization of GOD. One final note; have you taken time to drives your disbelief and ignorance? I wonder if it is the anit-Christ!!!!

    June 15, 2010 at 2:08 pm |
    • JesusIsGay

      Chavis – you are one dumb f...

      June 15, 2010 at 2:15 pm |
  4. sith21176

    LOL !

    June 15, 2010 at 2:08 pm |
  5. PalsyPower

    Just more proof that god hates football...

    June 15, 2010 at 2:08 pm |
  6. Hot Jesus

    This has made my day! It is hilarious to see churches looking foolish. They have really gotten out of hand. Churches are big business and have forgotten what they were originally meant for. Even God doesn't like foolish bible thumpers....

    June 15, 2010 at 2:07 pm |
  7. JesusIsGay

    Jesus is gay. Let's all pray for Jesus.

    June 15, 2010 at 2:07 pm |
  8. 333

    Just felt like being closer to the water =]

    June 15, 2010 at 2:06 pm |
  9. Bill

    If it rises again in 3 days, then I am a believer....

    June 15, 2010 at 2:05 pm |
  10. JesusIsBurning

    HAHAHAHA! So freakin funny! That will teach these crooked churches to stop spending money on stupid stuff! And the churchgoers deserve this if they really spent as much money as they did on a stupid statue of Touchdown Jesus! Stupid holy rollers!!!!!

    June 15, 2010 at 2:05 pm |
  11. DontMindMe

    I read an article that the church leaders were just discussing having to paint the statue again. Here is my question: Would it be conspiracy to commit insurance fraud if the congregation prayed for this to happen?

    June 15, 2010 at 2:05 pm |
  12. Tony

    Oh and "Defender of the cross" that has to be one of the longest delusional diatribes I've read in a while. Riveting stuff. My deity; this pack of gum laying on my desk say's not to believe a word of what you just said. 🙂

    June 15, 2010 at 2:04 pm |
    • Mark C

      Yeah, there's no way I could make up something as nutty as that guy's rant if I tried. Scary that these people are walking the streets.

      June 15, 2010 at 2:05 pm |
  13. C Scogin

    So now the Jesus statue looks more like a Terminator. I also heard that the church sign now reads "He'll be back!"

    June 15, 2010 at 2:03 pm |
    • Tony

      ROFLMAO! Damn you Skynet!

      June 15, 2010 at 2:05 pm |
  14. Death Shall Look Upon The Followers Of Satan


    June 15, 2010 at 2:02 pm |
    • Whosis71

      LOL!! You zealots are so darned *cute* when you're angry.

      June 15, 2010 at 2:16 pm |
    • MindlessWithChrist

      Christians have been saying that for years. Armageddon, apocalypse,. Figures ... just like Bush creating a war on terror in the hapless minds of morons. Let's raise the alert level to orange for religious icons. Cheap church, cheap crap spewing toxins into the environment.

      June 15, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
    • SUSEJ

      You mean my ma and pa?

      June 15, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
    • Mike in VA

      Hey! I can vomit on my keyboard too!

      Death Shall Look Upon The Followers Of Satan...and NOT be impressed. You sound like a lame metal band.

      June 15, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  15. Tony

    Well not to worry, I'm sure they've scammed enough people out of their hard earned money to rebuild it.

    June 15, 2010 at 2:00 pm |
  16. Defender of the CROSS

    FIRST: There should be NO images of Christ per biblical law. God DESTROYED the statue PERIOD. YOU all sit around and blame the Father for your misfortunes in life, but it is the " THIEF that cometh to steal, kill and destroy " God is of LOVE-PEACE-FAITH & OBEDIENCE. Do you live in LOVE PEACE FAITH & OBEDIENCE? or do you live in CONTEMPT DESTRUCTION & DESPAIR? Do you go around swimming in sin and then believe all is forgiven afterwards? DON'T! its all a LIE made up by Lucifer for you to believe that you can do whatever you want and ask for forgiveness later. If anyone reads the bible they will come to one conclusion, God is a STRICT but loving Father who DOES NOT suffer fools lightly. Now if he is this kind of Father how can ANYONE believe that there is CONSTANT forgiveness for doing the same thing over and over again? LOOK what he did to moses... 40 years all moses did was COMPLAIN! I serve God as a TRUE defender of his word, home, son, animals, children, angels, saints, and of earth. In every task put before me I simply ride the storm without COMPLAINT. Its like in any corporate structure, if one employee is crying all the time that employee is terminated correct? Same with God's employees and YES they are here TRUE ordained and ANOINTED men & women working for the Father against CONTEMPT DESTRUCTION & DESPAIR. MOST of what you have been brainwashed to believe by the enemy is all BS, THINK for yourselves don't permit others to think for you. USE what God has given you the inner voice that speaks to you, DON'T DO THAT...

    " Children YOU all have eyes to see the pits, but like BLIND sheep (for which YOU are not) WILLINGLY follow those that they themselves are TRULY blind with their FALSE gifts and tongues, and even though as they fall into it, you TOO follow and FALL into the abyss of ETERNAL deception " i.e. even though you WATCH these false pastors, prophits, priest, psychics, FALL into the pits, you will also walk right in even though you SEE there is a HOLE and it should be AVOIDED!

    You all have the RIGHT to FREE WILL, and if you choose to do things that you KNOW your not supposed to do, who else to BLAME but YOURSELVES and not God. & for ALL you devil worshippers LUCIFER is LAUGHING at you with your animal sacrafices and praying to him, and when you pass, you will go BEFORE GOD not him. YOU will NEVER even meet him... No my delusional sheep, Lucifer is not looking for you that commits evil 24-7 he is looking for the FAITHFUL, the man that praises God and OBIDES by his law, BELIEVE it or not its GOD that is LOOKING for you 🙂

    Let these TRUTHS as I have told them before HEAVEN manifest themselves into your hearts that read them, and may God take it from there with your hearts.

    PS: To ALL you CHRISTIANS that have been CONNED to believe that God FORGIVES all tresspasses against him, HE DOES NOT! Question? As parents if your child kept doing the same BAD thing over and over again, would the punishment administered by you ALWAYS be the same? or would they get worse and worse to DETER your child from doing it again. THINK!!!

    June 15, 2010 at 2:00 pm |
    • Mark C

      You're an idiot. Do the gene pool a big favor and kill yourself now.

      June 15, 2010 at 2:03 pm |
    • Gunk

      Maybe follow you own advice – "Think"

      June 15, 2010 at 2:06 pm |
    • wow


      Crazy Guy on the Street Corner"

      June 15, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
    • Jamie VR

      I hope you don't have children. I imagine if you did, then like your "God", you would eventually keep the one you thought was most obedient and kill the rest. That is, if you haven't already.

      June 15, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
    • Just Me

      @Defender – what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone on this discussion board is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

      June 16, 2010 at 8:17 pm |
  17. Michael Smith

    funniest thing I've read all day.

    June 15, 2010 at 2:00 pm |
  18. OSUisDEAD

    Football in ohio is dead and has been for years. It was time.

    June 15, 2010 at 1:58 pm |
  19. jeffrey root

    Is that supposed to be a victory dance?

    June 15, 2010 at 1:58 pm |
  20. Ken

    Hey JC-VA

    I am fat... you must be a christian...

    June 15, 2010 at 1:58 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.