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'Touchdown Jesus' statue replaced

Sept. 20, 2012 at 2:17 PM

MONROE, Ohio, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- The destroyed Ohio statue commonly known as "Touchdown Jesus" has been replaced with a 52-foot statue of the Christian messiah along Interstate 75.

Lawrence Bishop, co-pastor of the Solid Rock Church in Monroe, said the "King of Kings" sculpture -- which was destroyed by a lightning strike in 2010 -- was replaced Wednesday with a Jesus statue titled "Lux Mundi," Latin for "Light of the World," the Dayton (Ohio) Daily News reported Thursday.

The original statue featured Jesus with his arms raised into the air, earning it the "Touchdown Jesus" nickname, while the replacement depicts Jesus with his arms open wide, as if preparing for a hug.

Bishop said the sculpture serves as "a beacon of hope" for travelers on I-75.

"It's neat to see this day finally come," church administrator Ron Carter said. "Right now, this world needs a positive message."

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