Designers named for new Jesus statue

By Cory Stark – bio |email |twitter | Facebook

MONROE, OH (FOX19) - The "Touchdown Jesus" statue outside Solid Rock Church in Monroe was hit by lightning and burned to the ground earlier this year. Now a new statue is in the works, one with a different look and name.

The church has hired local sculptor Tom Tsuchiya and the company Glass Hand LLC to design and build the sculpture. The church is calling the statue "Come Unto Me."

"It's a pretty big project, it's probably one of the biggest things we have ever done," said Steve Brauch, owner of Glass Hand.

"We are trying to create a sculpture that appears dignified," said Tom Tsuchiya.

The 61-foot sculpture will show Jesus with open arms, different than the previous one known as "Touchdown Jesus."

"Now we get a brand new one, and a full body instead of just the bust. This won't be the Touchdown Jesus but we hope this one will be an icon like the last one was," said Darlene Bishop, co-pastor of Solid Rock Church.

Designers say the statue will take more than six months to complete, and is inspired by the "Sermon on the Mount."

"It's something that is not in your face. Something that is kind of there and something that looks welcoming and peaceful," said Tsuchiya.

Designers learned from the disaster that destroyed the previous sculpture.

"There is a lightening suppression system in it. so even if it does get hit, it will channel it down through the frame and their won't be any risk of having a repeat occurrence," said Brauch.

"We know a lot of people are anxious and a lot of people are frustrated with a lot of things going on," said Bishop. "This is where they will find rest, in him."

Designers say the sculpture will be finished in the Spring of next year. Designers would not give the cost of the sculpture, however its estimated at a price tag between $250,000 and $750,000.

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