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Jesus Christ, That’s a Big Statue!

I am a long distance trucker and have seen my share of roadside oddities but this one takes the cake. I took a U turn off route 71 near Monroe, Ohio, to get to the largest state of Jesus I’ve ever seen. The Solid Rock Church is more like a place you would catch a sporting event––it’s huge. There is a walking path around the giant Christ and man! Do you feel small under his giant sky-raised arms. I half-waited for him to rise up out of the water and start picking up cars of the unrepentant to toss them a few counties away. –Dave Lounsberry


Giant Jesus

Solid Rock Church seems a fitting name for a house of worship home to a colossal sculpture of Jesus—despite the fact that the sculpture is actually made out of plastic foam and fiberglass stretched over a metal frame. The huge Christ, which was completed in September 2004, looms over the baptismal pool outside the church founded by evangelist Darlene Bishop and her husband Lawrence Bishop.

The 62-foot sculpture depicting Jesus’ head and torso has a 42-foot span between its upraised hands (leading some locals to refer to him as the “Touchdown Jesus”) and a 40-foot cross at the base. Rendered by artist James Lynch at the request of the Bishops, the statue serves as advertising for the 3,000-member nondenominational church and as a subject of controversy in the community.

Many Monroe locals believe it is an eyesore, while others feel it puts Monroe on the map. Probably the most sensible commentary appeared in a forum Monroe’s community website, “There have been so many deaths on that section of 1-75, perhaps when people see Jesus they will be more careful.”

The statue is actually at the back of the Lawrence Bishop Music Theater, an amphitheater that belongs to the church. If you are riding up I-75 north, there is no way you can miss this thing.–Jim Willis

Weird Ohio


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