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Touchdown Jesus Being Replaced by Hug-Me Jesus

A church in Clayton, Ohio, is underway replacing its massive Jesus statue that burned down from a lightning strike in 2010. The old statue, unofficially dubbed “Touchdown Jesus,” was an iconic buttercream waist-up pose of Christ. Its replacement will be a full-length Jesus with arms outstretched as if beckoning people to him, and will loom 63 feet high over Interstate 75.

While the statue will be the color of concrete, it is actually being built out of massive pieces of foam on a steel frame. And yes, it has a nickname too: “It’s ‘Hug Me Jesus,'” sculptor Tom Tsuchiya told USA Today. “Some blogger called it that, and I loved it. That’s what it’s all about — a let’s-all-be-friends message. Love one another.”

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