Created by: Jerry Ford; Written with Jerry Ford and Katie Ostreko.
Mercy Ridge is a dramatic series about a charismatic pastor whose faith and ideology
are continually challenged by worldly things. A rich palette of human frailty and
strengths surround him, providing endless temptations and threats to his mission,
some of which he conquers; but all of which are threatened by his secret past.
His family and friends each maneuver to build their importance in his life, either
in support of his larger vision or their own. As his fame, wealth, and influence
grow, so do the power-hungry factions looking to gain control of his mega-church
for their own purposes.
No one except "The Monk" knows his guilty secret, but the pastor's carefully constructed
life is about to fall apart.
His charismatic personality and ambitious wife helped him to become a pastor and
grow the largest church in the state. Now in his early fifties, he faces a crisis
of conscience. As the church gains power and recognition, it seems to drive itself
toward the more conservative and fundamentalist voice, a direction that forces Ken
to struggle with his own personal, more liberal beliefs - especially in defense of
his lesbian daughter.
Sybil's ambitious nature has pushed her husband to the top. She will stop at nothing
to keep her position by his side - one she feels she's earned. Sybil shows a sweet
and supportive face to her husband's congregation, while concealing a woman of steel
will and passionate commitment to her cause - herself.
When she saw her brother and fellow gang member murdered before her eyes, Vivi ran
away from the violent and poverty-stricken life she'd led and into the open arms
of the church. After years of keeping her heart tucked away from hurt and despair,
Vivi wears her heart on her sleeve - a place that exposes her wounds for all to see.
Growing up the poor kid in a rich man's world, Carl was subjected to ridicule and
shame that lead to his obsession with wealth and power. His unchecked financial ambitions
led to his marriage to an older woman whose plain face was compensated by her immense
Faith grew up without a care or want for anything except the pretty face and the
love she craved. She knew her wealth was the only reason Carl courted her. Fascinated
by his handsome face and charming exterior, Faith agreed to form a partnership with
him rather than a traditional marriage. She never forgets money is the root of her
The mysterious figure who haunts the church after lights out - and knows the details
about the deaths of Ken's first wife and son.
Impact of religion on culture
As The West Wing dealt with the real people running the behind-the-scenes of the
White House, Mercy Ridge centers on the decision makers at a mega-church, their often
conflicting views of the "right" way to interpret religious faith, and how they use
or abuse their faith to justify and attain their personal and religious goals.
The decisions made by the main characters impact their church and community in various
ways, not all of them positive or uplifting.
Franchising of faith
Whether liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat, the blending of religion
and politics is more closely tied than ever. The influences of the mega-church over
politics and policy, legislative control and manipulative propaganda efforts are
observed at an operating level comparable to the grand scale of a major corporation
looking to gain influence and power.
Extremism versus "The Reasonable Man" Theory
In any debate there are voices from polarized extremes and those who lead from the
middle. The "Reasonable Man," he who speaks the centrist view, ends up squeezed
by the pressures of radical voices as they push against reason and compromise - two
characteristics that have little to do with matters of faith and religion.
Pilot episode available upon request