home
RSS
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. alex

    looks like the congregation will be shelling out another 700,000 dollars haha...

    June 15, 2010 at 1:34 pm |
  2. TammyB

    Wow! Just last summer I took a picture of that same statue while traveling across country to Michigan! It was eerie and kind of creepy, but impressive nonetheless. Hope they rebuild it!

    June 15, 2010 at 1:33 pm |
  3. Julie

    Most of the Christians on here make me ashamed to associate myself with them. Jesus is not about hatred and condemnation. Religion is worthless. A relationship with God is what matters. If you actually believe you're better than someone else just because of the way you live or what you believe, I have to doubt whether you know my God.

    June 15, 2010 at 1:33 pm |
    • Gunk

      "Religon is worthless." ? But your brand of religon is OK? Thanks you for clarifying the basis of religon and religeous wars.

      June 15, 2010 at 1:52 pm |
    • Tyronio

      most christians can't or won't agree with each other. But your statement is the sanest response i've seen. I admire your faith.

      June 15, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  4. Chuck Darwin

    I love the smell of burning Jesus in the morning, it smells like... hypocrisy.

    June 15, 2010 at 1:32 pm |
  5. kevin

    As for ALLANHOWLS, The bible was written by men but were inspired by God, in other words,God told the authors of the books of the bible what to write as he did with Moses, Matthew,Mark, Luke John, Judges,James,Job,Malachi,Ruth,etc.. If it were written by the concept of mans judgement, then there wouldn't be any perfect writnings in the bible. As for myself, I belong to no one religion at all, to false for me. Every religion has it's own theology and idealogy, I get my teachings from another source, but everyone has thier opinion in whatever category..........

    June 15, 2010 at 1:32 pm |
  6. FogBaron

    Whaddya say we put up a statue of Buddha next and see what happens?

    June 15, 2010 at 1:32 pm |
    • Chris Lewis

      A solid gold statue of Buddah was washed away when the Tsunami struck Tailand.

      June 15, 2010 at 1:39 pm |
  7. BLACK FREEDOM FIGHTER

    WAIT LET ME GUESS, THOSE WHO FOLLOW "CHRIST" THINK THIS IS THE DEVIL. I GUESS YALL WILL PRAY TO A MYSTERY GOD AND KEEP YOUR FAITH. (BELIEF IN SOMETHING UNSEEN) MAYBE IT'S A SIGN IT'S TIME TO STOP BEING CONTROLLED BY THOSE WHO CREATED THE RELIGION AND MYSTERY GOD O CONTROL U IN THE FIRST PLACE. FREE YOUR MIND.

    June 15, 2010 at 1:32 pm |
  8. CRUSADES

    Mother Teresa is giving the Christian Taliban a response to their threatening the Empire State Building in her name.

    June 15, 2010 at 1:32 pm |
  9. David Nestletug

    Solid Rock church with a Styrofoam likeness of their deity. Way to spare every expense.

    June 15, 2010 at 1:32 pm |
  10. meebo

    PeterPaulandBob,

    get your facts straight. in the big bang vs steady state debate, christians tended to be on the side of the big bang, because it left open the possibility of a creator of the universe. the big bang was first postulated by a roman catholic priest.

    June 15, 2010 at 1:32 pm |
  11. Tyler

    Thank God – that thing was atrocious.

    June 15, 2010 at 1:32 pm |
  12. Jackson

    and just how many coffee-cups were lost in the blaze???

    June 15, 2010 at 1:31 pm |
  13. mathetes

    I CAN believe it's not Jesus....

    June 15, 2010 at 1:30 pm |
  14. Woody

    I for one am kind of bummed. We typically trek to Florida every year and pass by good 'ole "touchdown". It always made me chuckle to myself when we went by. The trip this year will just not be the same.... I won't be able to yell out random things like: "Touchdown!", "It's good!", "I'm melting into the lake!" or "Quicksand!". Dang.

    June 15, 2010 at 1:30 pm |
  15. InfaredTech

    Exodus 20:4-5
    You shall not make for yourself a carved image-any likeness if anything that is in heaven above, or that is on earth beneath, or that is i the water under earth;......)

    June 15, 2010 at 1:30 pm |
  16. Rita

    Non-believers are filled with some scary ugly hate. Your angry comments should easily convince anybody on the fence about believing to come to your side (eyes rolling).

    June 15, 2010 at 1:30 pm |
    • Mike in VA

      And the near-psychotic ramblings of righteous-in-christ truly show the love of your diety? Of all the religions in the history of the world, truly christianity has the most blood on it's hands.

      June 15, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
  17. Chris Lewis

    This is not a religious issue. This is a bad engineering issue. A steel frame wrapped in two wonderfully flammable materials – Styrofoam and Fiberglass. I bet this thing arced and went up like the Griswold family Christmas tree.

    June 15, 2010 at 1:28 pm |
  18. Brickell Princess

    Hmmmmm...lightning from above is a sure sign that God doesn't like you!

    June 15, 2010 at 1:27 pm |
  19. sfx_ns

    How about that for a message.....It reminds me when one says ... If I'm doing something wrong, may god strike me down with lighting. Guess they are doing something wrong.... Instead of rebuilding the statue, how about using the money to praise god by helping the community.

    June 15, 2010 at 1:27 pm |
  20. Netmonger

    @Lookingforhope: grow up.. Its 2010.. do you believe in Santa Claus too?

    June 15, 2010 at 1:27 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Advertisement
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.