Christ of the Ozarks.
Christ of the Ozarks

Mega-Messiahs (and Other End Times Titans)

It's still fashionable, during these post-millennial decades, to ponder The End of Everything. Media-worn warnings from the Bible, Nostradamus, and assorted bunker-dwellers continue to give us pause. Fans of Hollywood Apocalypse films believe the End will be laden with spectacular special effects. And while students of the Book of Revelation may not agree on all the details, one thing is very possible:

A giant Jesus will be looking for you.

So perhaps we should decide in advance where to be caught when the Second Coming comes. No man "knows the hour," but with your luck it won't be while you're at work -- it'll be while you are on vacation.

How about synchronizing your Rapture-Rupture with a visit to one of America's giant symbols of faith? At the top of the list: a Mega-Messiah statue. Convenient to any End Times vacation plan, you'll be strangely at peace after spotting Christ writ large on the horizon.

Christ of the Ozarks, Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Buddy Christ says it's A-OK.
Buddy Christ says it's A-OK.


This Big J stands along a ridge near the Great Passion Play amphitheater, New Holy Land, and the Christ Only Art Gallery. He is probably the "World's Tallest Uncrucified Christ" (if we totally ignore the 125 ft. tall mountaintop Christ statue in Rio de Janeiro), standing seven stories and weighing two million pounds . He was completed in 1966, and according to "The Story of the Building of the Great Statue," as many as three cars could be hung on either wrist without damage.

Visitors report that the eyes seem to move, but this is explained as the movement of the sun, not another incredible miracle. At night, attendees of the four-hour-long Passion Play walk off cramps around the eerie illuminated Messiah. The whole cavalcade of Bible treats was founded by the late radio racist Reverend Gerald L. K. Smith.

Mormon Visitor Center, Salt Lake City, Utah
A larger-than-life Jesus stands in the Mormon Visitor Center in Salt Lake City. According to Mormon beliefs, after his Resurrection this Jesus took a side trip to America. Next door, you can sit in on a rehearsal of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir -- another great place to be when God wraps things up.

Dinosaur Gardens, Ossineke, Michigan
In the parking lot of Dinosaur Gardens, along the western shore of Lake Huron, you'll find a large homemade statue of Christ clutching the Earth. Perhaps it is a comment on the fate of the dinosaurs, who are depicted along a wooded trail attacking each other and battling with cavepeople. When the real Messiah comes knocking, you'll want to be safely inside the walk-in Apatosaurus, home of the "The Greatest Heart."

Christ of the Deep, Key Largo, Florida
Christ of the Deep is a nine-foot-tall bronze statue sunk in 25 feet of water at Dry Rocks Reef about eight miles off shore. It's a popular spot for underwater weddings.

The Buddy Christ statue, as seen in the movie "Dogma," greets visitors to Jay & Silent Bob's Secret Stash, a comic book store in Red Bank, NJ, frequented by fans, stars and near-stars of Kevin Smith films. One of the shorter Messiahs on our list, he is certainly the biggest wiseacre, and in the worst place for the Lord to find you on Judgment Day.

End Times Titans

Big Marys

Immaculate giantesses loom, but also forgive. Find the largest the USA has to offer: 50-ft Madonna Queen National Shrine, North Boston, Massachusetts; 30-ft "Queen of Peace," Sioux City, Iowa; the 33-ft. tall Mary in Windsor, Ohio; and 90-ft "Our Lady of the Rockies," Butte, MT.

Super-Crucifixes

A super-crucifix is a giant cross with a Jesus statue nailed to it, lovingly crafted as part of a Catholic shrine or church. The two biggest can be found in Bardstown, Kentucky; and the Cross in the Woods, Indian River, Michigan.

Big Crosses

There are many, spread over the widest geography and less denominational than a monolithic Madonna or Super-crucifix. Our favorites are the metal spectacle visible from the interstate in Groom, Texas; and the white colossus atop Bald Knob, Alto Pass, Illinois. A 95-footer went up near Frankfort, Kentucky in 1999. In 2001, a 198-ft. tall Cross went up near I-70 at SR 57 in Effingham, Illinois ("Crossroads of America"), inspired by the Groom cross.

Praying Hands

Healing Hands.
Praying Hands of Webb City, MO, or the Healing Hands, Tulsa, OK. Take your pick, though we favor the Healing Hands, within groveling distance of the Oral Roberts Prayer Tower, with its direct prayer-feed to heaven.

World's Largest Ten Commandments

World's Largest Ten Commandments is a popular spot to review epic past indiscretions. Field of the Wood, Murphy, NC.

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December 16, 2018

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