Nothing is what it seems in the Greenleaf family.
Grace "Gigi" Greenleaf (Merle Dandridge), and her teenage daughter, Sophia (Desiree Ross), return home to the Greenleaf family mansion in Memphis, Tennessee, after 20 years away. They are visiting to pay their respects to Gigi's sister Faith (guest star Terri Abney) following her mysterious death.
When Gigi and Sophia arrive, they are greeted by Noah Kendall, the estate manager of the mansion. Grace and Noah, once a couple, exchange glances and make small talk as they drive up the lengthy driveway.
They are warmly welcomed by Gigi's father, Bishop James Greenleaf (Keith David), the head of the mega-church Calvary Fellowship World Ministries. The good feelings are short-lived, however, as the rest of the family doesn't seem quite as thrilled. Her mother, Lady Mae, the first lady of the church, warns Gigi not to disrupt her peace. Meanwhile, her uncle Robert "Mac" McCready simply glares at her.
The whole family sits down to dinner, and it doesn't take long for everyone's true feelings to rise to the surface. Gigi's sister-in-law, Kerrisa, and her mother find out that Gigi, once the most promising preacher among the Greenleaf children, now only goes to church on holidays. They grill her on her spiritual beliefs. When the contentious conversation comes to an awkward conclusion, Gigi's sister, Charity Greenleaf-Satterlee, a talented singer who performs during church services, seizes upon the opportunity to propose a series of sermons on the "seasons of Christian marriage."
The dinner ends abruptly, and the family members go their separate ways. The couples review the evening in their respective rooms. Sophia and Zora, Kerissa and Jacob's daughter, get to know each other a little better. Charity and her husband, Kevin Satterlee, decide to have a baby.
Gigi wants to reconnect with her aunt Mavis McCready, so she swings by Mavis' Beale Street blues bar. Mavis (Oprah Winfrey), the family's other black sheep, reveals that Mac is still up to his old tricks, and suggests that Gigi may be the only one who can stop him before someone else gets hurt.
The next day, Bob Banks, the senior senator from Tennessee, comes calling at the bishop's office, revealing that the Senate is conducting an inquiry into whether Calvary and other large religious institutions are using their tax-exempt status to bilk the American people out of billions of dollars.
Meanwhile, Jacob continues his affair with his father's chief of staff, Alexa Campbell.
Finally, at her father's request, Gigi attends church on Sunday. During his impassioned sermon, her father all but asks Gigi to stay in Memphis. Moved to tears, it's clear that Gigi decides she can't leave--but not for the reason the bishop thinks.