Big Butter Jesus : 62 feet of tasty devotion

Big Butter Jesus

This sculpture is known by many names, including "Big Butter Jesus". Image from Flickr.

When you’re driving I-75 in Monroe, Ohio, be prepared to encounter the Big Butter Jesus. The Big Butter Jesus is actually a 62 foot tall statue, commissioned by the non-denominational Solid Rock Megachurch. While there are no official statements of how much Big Butter Jesus cost to build, the church most likely had to look into the cheapest personal loans to finance the project. And while this statue has lovingly become known by the moniker Big Butter Jesus, as made famous by Heywood Banks, he is also lovingly known as “Touchdown Jesus,” “Melting Jesus,” “Drowning Jesus” and (as named by 75% of Monroe residents) “Eyesore Jesus”.

Big Butter Jesus isn’t actually butter

The Big Butter Jesus sculpture, unfortunately, isn’t actually made of butter. That nickname developed after the sculpture was completed in 2004. The creamy yellow color and oversized scale of the Jesus sculpture simply make it look like butter. While there is a long and illustrious Wikipedia history of butter sculpting in the United states, the logistics of making a 62-foot outdoor sculpture out of this melty medium would be very difficult. Not to mention that tourists constantly taking chunks of Big Butter Jesus home would mean that the sculpture would have be constantly rebuilt using funds from internet loans.

Big Butter Jesus sculpted by a big name

When the Solid Rock church decided they wanted to create the “symbol of devotion” that would become known as Big Butter Jesus, they commissioned a truly big name in sculpting. Artist James Lynch had previously done well-known works in Las Vegas – the large Neptune in Caesar’s Palace – and for Disney World. He first created a metal frame of the giant Jesus, then covered it with Styrofoam and fiberglass, giving it the buttery yellow color it has become known for.

Big Butter Jesus inspires artists

The Big Butter Jesus sculpture in Monroe has inspired more than just jokes about spreading the statue on toast. Musician Heywood Banks penned a devotional song to Big Butter Jesus, and debuted it on the Bob and Tom show three years ago. Searching “Big Butter Jesus” on YouTube results in over 100 results – with everyone from fire dancers to ukulele players. Watch the original Big Butter Jesus song video below:

Will Big Butter Jesus end up in the Guinness Book?

As reported by Roadside America, the members of Solid Rock church have submitted the Big Butter Jesus for consideration by the Guinness Book of World Records as the “World’s Largest Christ”. However, the fact that this sculpture is half-buried may disqualify it. The Guinness Book of World Records has yet to officially rule on the fate of Big Butter Jesus, but keep your eyes open – or at least pull off the highway in Monroe to say hello.