Copyright © Traveling Moon Productions. All Rights Reserved.

Created by: Jerry Ford; Written with Jerry Ford and Katie Ostreko.


Synopsis


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.


Character Profiles


Ken Levett

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 Levett

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.  


Vivi Callan

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.


Carl Rainey

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 family wealth.


Faith Rainey

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 power.


"The Monk"

The mysterious figure who haunts the church after lights out - and knows the details about the deaths of Ken's first wife and son.


Themes


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


Mercy Ridge

Back to Scripts