MONROE — Charred remnants remained this morning of the large Jesus statue iconic to Interstate 75 that was destroyed following an apparent lightning strike during a thunderstorm late Monday night.
The Lawrence Bishop Music Theater at Solid Rock Church on Union Road endured smoke damage, according to officials. Damages to the King of Kings statue and the theater were estimated to be around $700,000, said Monroe Fire Chief Mark Neu.
No one was injured in the blaze.
The smell of smoke surrounded the area of the statue’s charred frame, and the pond in front of it appeared murky, witnesses said.
[...] “God struck God, I like the irony. Jesus struck Jesus,” said Dawn Smith, 25, of Hamilton, who was among those standing outside the vehicles along Union Road. “I had to see it. What else are you going to do on a Monday night?”
Since its completion in 2004, the statue, which appeared to come out of a pond in front of the nondenominational megachurch, was known by multiple nicknames, including “Touchdown Jesus” because the arms and hands were raised upward. It also was known as “Big Butter Jesus” after comedian Heywood Banks referred to it as such and created a song about the statue, which he performed on radio’s popular “The Bob and Tom Show.”
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Giant Jesus statue struck by lightning, destroyed.
This one goes out to Nick. From Dayton Daily News: