Never Gonna Be As Big As This Jesus

January 13, 2005 by

The Beatles can step aside thanks to the 62-foot, $250,000 Jesus statue erected by the Solid Rock Church of Monroe, Ohio. The sculpture towers over the church and nearby interstate 75, serving as a “beacon of hope and salvation.”

“We’re living in a day when a lot of people feel hopeless, but we believe that when people see him, they will understand he is the hope for the world,” said Darlene Bishop, wife of pastor Lawrence Bishop and originator of the idea.

Nearby roadside attractions include a sign for Hustler of Hollywood, one of Larry Flynt’s largest adult stores and a billboard for an adult club. When it comes to marketing, the “Super Savior” is certainly getting attention, but you have to wonder if going head to head with the tackiest of roadside distractions is the way go.

There is also some debate as to the biggest Jesus ever status as Eureka Springs, Ark. claims to have a 67-foot Jesus.

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998, runs the hyperlocal site West St. Paul Reader, and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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25 Responses to “Never Gonna Be As Big As This Jesus”

  • Bob.Yexley.Blog
    January 13, 2005

    62 foot Jesus

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  • Bob.Yexley.Blog
    January 13, 2005

    62 foot Jesus

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  • b2blog
    January 13, 2005

    I’ve always found images of Jesus self-serving, rather than re-assuring, even as a believer. And it has the scent of a ‘cult of personality’ that’s got to be a turn-off, too.
    And what’s this statue doing anyway? (Listening to his ipod? LOL)

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  • Migdalor
    January 15, 2005

    I live about 30 minutes from this large Jesus. They did a story on it in the local papers.
    I actually went and checked it out for myself. Goodness…the thing looks like it was craved out of a block of cheese. My friends and I have dubbed it ‘Chesus’.
    Man they could have used the money they spent to take care of so many more things. Oh well.

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  • kevin
    January 17, 2005

    Cheese, that’s awesome. One of the articles said that the sculpture was carved from fiberglass and styrofoam. A styrofoam Jesus?! I can only image it’s because those were the cheapest building materials–which says a lot about this roadside messiah.

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  • Victor Minetola
    March 17, 2006

    Funny: I affectionately refer to this as ‘Butter Jesus.’
    ‘Butter Jesus’ has become for me a benchmark of what not to do to reach out to the community.

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  • Jared
    August 3, 2006

    the artical about the eureka springs “Christ of the Ozarks” actually states the statue is 1500 feet tall and has an arm span of 65 feet. And yes, I am from Arkansas and have seen it for myself. It is actually nice, though I don’t neccessarily agree with or understand why they built it.

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  • The Aesthetic Elevator
    August 4, 2006

    Jared – I feel for you man! I live about 1.5 hrs or less from Eureka, in AR that is.
    See more info on Christ of the Ozarks at Wikipedia or many other websites. But it’s not 1,500 feet tall. That is taller than the Sears tower.

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  • Dianna
    August 10, 2006

    I just took a trip to King’s Island with my family. I knew nothing about Chesus before traveling down I-75 this past Tuesday. There were people stopped on the shoulder of the very busy highway taking pictures. I think he is a dangerous distraction to passer-by! (and rather tacky!!)

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  • CylonRed
    August 31, 2006

    It used to have big powerful lights to light it up all night till the community forced them to turn off the ligths as they were as HUGE distraction to drivers going south on I-75

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  • Vampyro
    September 5, 2006

    Love the “Big Butter Jesus” Im not a religous person and I listen to bob and tom in the morning and heard a song by Heywood Banks called “Big Butter Jesus” VERY FUNNY.
    My Mind and soul will burn forever,

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  • Millie
    September 6, 2006

    I used to go to college in Ohio, and every time I drove up from Tennessee, I had to drive by this damn thing. Every single time I pass it, it looks even more stupid than the last time.
    Heywood Banks is a hilarious… I have to assume that going between Cinci and Dayton he’s seen this horrid statue many a time…

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  • Tracy
    September 20, 2006

    I just ran across your web-site…
    I appreciate and understand the mission of this site, however the website title has a lot to be desired. Come on, “CHURCH MARKETING SUCKS”????????
    The words “SUCKS and “CHURCH” in the same sentence/title is an oxymoron. It’s very desrespectful. It in no way conveys a Christion mindset. Please consider changing your name!!!!

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  • Brandon Meek
    September 20, 2006

    Tracy, you left out marketing. We think church is great, its the marketing of it that is sucking. We have the greatest message to be told and we believe, we need to tell it that way.
    I hope you’ll spend some time here learning more about the community and what we’re all about. You might want to read this:Why We Use Sucks.

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  • ButterLover
    September 25, 2006

    Anyone ever actually read the 10 commandments?
    Isn’t there one in there about making graven images? Or does Big Butter Jesus somehow get a pass on that one?

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  • Steve
    September 27, 2006

    Jesus !?!?! I drove by this on vacation last year, I thought it was Neptune coming out of the water !

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  • Kathy Grimm
    October 5, 2006

    Big Butter Jesus is just what the Christian community can expect when art education flys out the window. I mean, come on people, is this what we think is art?
    As for the graven image comment. Please try and study the scriptures. Graven in the context of the ten commandments means that people are treating images as a “god” I think that we can all figure this one to be nothing but an eye sore. Do you care more about your flashy car, sex, or television than you do God? Well, guess what. You’ve just broke the “graven image” commandment. Wow, I think I’ve just described half of America?
    Sorry to bring ya all down, I’ve had a tough day. Or rather, two years.

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  • Tab
    October 19, 2006

    I think Big Butter Jesus is a great tool that has opened nation-wide comments about Jesus in general. When was the last time the general poplulation of Ohio interstate drivers thought about Jesus. Seems to me He is serving the purpose the church intended!

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  • T Bishop
    October 23, 2006

    It Sucks the way WE are to believe that Religion isn’t really Organized Crime
    Come on Jesus (a Character from a storybook) grow up Kids

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  • Andyman
    November 2, 2006

    “He’s at the 20, now the 10, the 5, SCORES!!! TOUCHDOWN!!

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  • well3howdy3doo
    November 24, 2006

    here is my video for the song and statue

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  • The Aesthetic Elevator
    January 31, 2007

    Just found a group on Facebook thinking the only way the church could afford the statue is by selling crack:

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  • Michelle
    October 6, 2007

    So, it is October 7, 2007, and Friday October 6, 2007 my husband and I went to see Big Butter Jesus. He heard the Heywood Banks song on The Bob and Tom show. The statue is awesome, and it shows the world that Jesus is the light and Salvation, and maybe just maybe makes some passerby on I-75 think about eternity for a moment. How cool. by the way as a side note, The word sucks is really bad to use, it has bad connotations, we are in the world, not of it! Have a great day!

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  • Caz
    June 11, 2008

    The Christ of the Ozarks statue is only 67 feet tall. FYI.

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  • Christine
    June 15, 2010

    that Jesus is infamous (internet-famous). not gunna lie, after reading a whole bunch of the Old Testament lately, that sounds like some divine judgment. I don’t think God liked the giant Jesus statue… if you want people to think about Jesus on the I-75, why don’t you, I dunno, befriend them before they get on the road, give ’em something to think about.

    “We are the Bibles the world is reading; We are the creeds the world is needing; We are the sermons the world is heeding.” – Billy Graham

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