Work to begin soon on new Jesus statue

Replica of the new Jesus statue
Replica of the new Jesus statue
Jesus statue before it was struck by lightning
Jesus statue before it was struck by lightning

MONROE, Ohio (AP) - A giant statue of a full-standing Jesus with arms outstretched will replace a mammoth, partial depiction destroyed by lightning outside an Ohio church.

Administrator Ron Carter at the Solid Rock Church in Monroe says construction will be completed by the end of the year at the site overlooking Interstate 75 where the original had been one of southwest Ohio's most familiar landmarks.

That statue showed Jesus from the chest up and had been nicknamed Touchdown Jesus because of the way the arms were raised outward, like a referee's.

It burned down following a lightning strike last June 14. Co-designer Tom Tsuchiya says work on the replacement will begin in May or June.

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