King of Kings (statue)

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King of Kings (also referred to as Touchdown Jesus) was a 62-foot (19 m) tall statue of Jesus on the east side of Interstate 75 at the Solid Rock Church, a 4000+ member Christian megachurch near Monroe, Ohio, in the United States. It was destroyed by a lightning strike and subsequent fire on June 14, 2010.

Located on the interstate-facing side of the church's outdoor amphitheater, the statue was set on an island at the head of the church's baptismal pool, flanked by fountains and lit by colored spotlights.[1] It depicted Jesus from the chest up, with his arms and head raised to the sky. The statue had a 42-foot (13 m) span between its upraised hands and a 40-foot (12 m) Christian cross at its base.[2] The completed statue weighed 16,000 pounds (7,000 kg).[1] A replacement statue, called Lux Mundi, was assembled and dedicated on the site in September 2012.


It was designed by Brad Coriell,[3] sculpted by James Lynch, and assembled by Mark Mitten.

Constructed on a metal frame or armature manufactured in nearby Lebanon, the sculpted figure itself was created in Jacksonville, Florida, then trucked north.[1] The main body of the statue was made from a core of Styrofoam covered by a thin skin of fiberglass.[1][2]

The sculpted statue was completed in September 2004 at a cost of approximately $250,000.[1] Coriell donated some of his time to the project.[3]

Popularity and nicknames[edit]

The statue was given many nicknames, both affectionate and derisive, by local residents and I-75 travelers. Among them were:

The statue was also credited with inspiring two musical works:

The statue was also a popular photographic subject for fans of The Ohio State University, who would align Jesus' upraised arms as the "H" when spelling out "O-H-I-O".[7]


On June 14, 2010, the statue was struck by lightning and consumed in the resulting blaze.[8] The fire consumed all but the internal metal structure.[2] Following the fire, the pastor of the church stated that the church planned to rebuild the statue with fireproof material.[9][10] In the days after the destruction, the church's digital sign displayed the message "He'll be back".[11]

Although the statue cost about $250,000 to construct, it was insured for $500,000 because Coriell had donated his time to the creation.[3] It was estimated that the statue and amphitheater sustained an estimated $700,000 in damages – $300,000 for the statue and $400,000 for the amphitheater.[11][12] PETA offered funding through an "anonymous Christian donor" to help rebuild the statue if allowed to promote veganism at the church.[13]

Replacement statue[edit]

Construction of a 52-foot (16 m) replacement statue with a substantially different design began in June 2012. The new statue, called Lux Mundi, was assembled on the site on September 19, 2012, and dedicated on September 30, 2012.[14][15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Maag, Chris (2005-11-18). "Giant Jesus statue keeps watch over Ohio interstate". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-07.
  2. ^ a b c "Lightning Razes 'King Of Kings' Statue". Cincinnati, Ohio: WLWT. 2010-06-15. Retrieved 2010-06-15.
  3. ^ a b c Morse, Janice (2010-06-16). "'Touchdown Jesus' statue's destruction brings flood of donations". Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  4. ^ Abramson, Dan (2010-03-11). "Big Butter Jesus Dominates Google, Arteries". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  5. ^ "Big Butter Jesus [video where artist discusses origin of song]". YouTube. 2007-01-02. Archived from the original on 2021-12-18.
  6. ^ Robbie Schaefer, Strange and Lovely World
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-08-22. Retrieved 2016-07-17.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "King of Kings statue destroyed by fire". Archived from the original on 2012-04-05. Retrieved 2010-09-15.
  9. ^ "Statue of Jesus destroyed by lightning strike". WXIX-TV "Fox 19". 2010-06-15. Archived from the original on 2010-06-18. Retrieved 2010-06-15.
  10. ^ "Lightning strike destroys Touchdown Jesus statue". The Guardian. London. Associated Press. 2010-06-16.
  11. ^ a b "Lightning Razes 'King Of Kings' Statue; 'He'll Be Back'". WLWT Cincinnati. Hearst Television, Inc. 5 June 2010. Archived from the original on 5 November 2011. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
  12. ^ Baker, Jennifer (2010-06-16). "'Touchdown Jesus' fire leads to few gawking tickets". Archived from the original on 2010-06-27. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  13. ^ Grossman, Cathy Lynn (22 June 2010). "PETA offers to rebuild, brand Jesus statue: Next offer, NRA?". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
  14. ^ McCrabb, Rick (19 September 2012). "Giant Jesus landmark returns to I-75". Dayton Daily News. Retrieved 20 September 2012.
  15. ^ "52 foot Jesus replaces predecessor". 2012-09-19. Retrieved 2012-09-26.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°27′14″N 84°19′35″W / 39.453857°N 84.32642°W / 39.453857; -84.32642