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. Faith by ae

    The only king of kings is the creator of everything between the heavens and the earth, the master of the day of judgement, the one who does not have parents, wife, or children, the one who does not get sick, forget, the one who forgives and punishes, and the one who creates life and take life away, the creator of Adam from the mud in the earth can create anything by just saying, "Be and it becomes" , the Creator who gives live and takes life also created Jesus without needing the help of a man, and th owner of everything between the earth and heavens, is Allaah/God. So if people on the earth think they can do all evil and sins, including having girl or boy friends, and will not be asked, think again.

    September 9, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  2. wisdom 1

    What happened gives us all the only truth which is God (ALLAH) is the lord and the creator of the heavens and earth and he only has the greatest power and he is the controller of everything in this universe and he can do whatever he wills any time and at any place .God (ALLAH) has not created humans for nothing .He created us all to worship him alone and to be perfect, sincere, and productive servants to him and to obey him in every single matter to ultimately gain his pleasure and satisfaction.
    Allah (God) has sent his prophets (Adam.Moses,Jesus,Muhammad) to mankind to teach people how to worship him alone and to guide them to the straight path and to set themselves as role model amongst the human been so that people can follow their footsteps.
    This simple thunder storm has done all that destruction then how could we face the horrible and the very hard moments of the day of judgments when earth will be shaken, the seas will be fired, the sky will be cracked and the sun will be getting close above our heads to the degree that the sinful people will be covered by their sweating. At that day the almighty god will ask us all about what we have done in this life and our end will be either in the burning fire or in the great and beautiful paradise.

    July 20, 2010 at 9:28 pm |
  3. Ren

    Nature 1: Jesus 0

    July 19, 2010 at 7:49 am |
    • mohammy

      Jesus calmed the storm and walked on water.

      nature is His byotch

      November 22, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  4. fizza

    You all have to accept there is some super power which is running the world and that is ALLAH follow ISLAM if not you have to answer on day of Judgement

    July 15, 2010 at 8:50 am |
  5. Gary Davis

    Father Tim and Sister Josephine were playing golf. Father Tim whiffed his drive on No. 1 and muttered, "God damn! Missed again!" Sister Jospine warned Father Tim that he could be struck down by lightning if he continued to take God's name in vain. The scene repeated itself on the No. 2 tee. "God damn! Missed again!" Again the sister warned Father Tim he could be struck down. Same thing on No. 3. "God damn! Missed again." Whereupon lighting came down out of the clouds and killed... Sister Josephine!

    From the heavens came in a booming voice came the words, "God damn! Missed again."

    July 1, 2010 at 11:07 am |
  6. -

    "We have an intellectual brain that makes us completely different from any animal."
    um, all fauna have some type of nervous system. (except not sure about unicellular organisms, though) I think you're trying to make some oint about symbolic thought or similar. however, that type of intelligence likely lays upon a spectrum...

    June 29, 2010 at 3:30 am |
  7. Ute

    Sign from above. The day the lightning struck was 15 and all numbers added from that day equal 24 (6+15+2010=24) which represents time. The repeated cycle of time is established by working systematically (#4) through opposites (#2). The lightning of the statue is meant as a wake-up call.

    June 22, 2010 at 9:24 am |
  8. Nick

    Kevin, If you believe we evolved from animals, then you don't believe the Bible. We are very different from animals. We have an intellectual brain that makes us completely different from any animal. When you say that everything is proven, I must ask who proved it and when, and what did they have to gain from it. If we know all the answers from science then why can't we figure out how to cure a cold. The answer is that most people are like sheep, they will follow them or listen to them, no matter what (you included). Science has nothing better to come up with then man evolved from apes. God says different. Give it a hundred more years and people will probably laugh at the notion we evolved from apes, because there will be some new scientific "proven" theory. We used to believe in bleeding people to cure them too. Sounds funny today.

    June 21, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
  9. Dana

    Nature destroyed but Muslim’s mosques not
    Here your God destroyed but nature not
    Google it and you will see the deference between your status and our mosques
    No God but Allah

    June 21, 2010 at 11:17 am |
  10. SLB

    The story stated the statue symbolized Jesus raising out of the water. When I look at it Jesus looks to be sinking into the water in a failed attempt to "Walk on water". Take the hint and don't rebuild.

    June 21, 2010 at 8:01 am |
  11. Holy smoke

    Was this an attack from Mohammed? If so, it's time to load them guns you bible thumpers, it's game time.

    June 21, 2010 at 6:48 am |
  12. nOT Trash

    Awesome. A totally random natural event is given supernatural reference because it hit a cliche statue of some dude.


    June 21, 2010 at 12:22 am |
  13. elle

    Zeus did it. Maybe the lightening thief?

    June 20, 2010 at 9:48 pm |

    Turtles are the only truly great creatures, not manatees. Turtles were around long before manatees too and they look cooler too. I propose a statue of a turtle. Turtles have hard shells too, so a statue (which would of course be of a hard material) makes more sense than using a manatee with its soft flesh. There should be a big turtle statue instead of a manatee statue.

    June 20, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
  15. bill mcmasters

    This tends to prove that God hates ugly, tacky sculptures of his Son!

    June 20, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  16. OhNoHeDi'int

    Did anyone blame Obama yet? (If not, consider this an accusation)
    /agree with the Manatee statement... who would ever zap a Manatee?

    June 20, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
    • ManicZorbian

      I was going to, but decided to blame BP instead. 😉

      June 20, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  17. Johnelle

    I am writing this BEFORE reading anyone else's comments, because I'm betting I can predict the majority of responses lol... Here's the list, starting with "Proof":
    "Proof" not to worship idols. "Proof" that this particular church is corrupt. "Proof" that the Christian religion is false or corrupt. "Proof" that America is corrupt. "Proof" that somehow it's gay peoples fault. "Proof" that somehow it's Obamas' fault. "Proof" that people are ignorant fools who attribute natural phenomenon to mystical deities.
    Other comments I'm expecting include: "Yay Zeus!" "Insurance wont cover this 'Act of God!'" "Maybe they should've spent more money on helping people!" "That's what they get for using materials that aren't green!" "It was ugly, I'm glad it's gone." "Gives 'Burning Man' a whole new meaning!" ...and probably more than a few comments about just how incredibly amusing this is.
    So NOW, I'm going to go read them, and see how many I got right! 😉

    June 20, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
  18. EndOfDays

    This PROVES the end is near! That is my opinion.

    June 20, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
  19. check

    Its the rejection by God of having any son and wife, he is the only one to worship without any idols like these, as all the prophets bring the same massage worship only one god.

    June 20, 2010 at 8:39 am |
    • ManicZorbian

      Sounds a lot like Akhenaten wanting everyone in Egypt to worship the Aten, doesn't it?

      June 20, 2010 at 2:34 pm |
  20. slimshady6291

    I think gods are on war and zeus just fried jesus with a lightning bolt ...ha ha ha no it's time for Poseidon he will vaquish the vatican from the face of earth...that's what you get when you forget the real gods and worship the fake ones calling themselves as the mighty god's son(jesus christ ).

    June 20, 2010 at 7:28 am |
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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.