When a pastor opposes his dysfunctional church by marrying a prostitute the battle over shunning sinners turns out to be destructive.
Leo Shepherd, a young vibrant minister from Atlanta, Georgia, relocates to Washington, DC, for a opportunity to pastor Grace Community Church. On the first night of his installment a prostitute named Ginger Clementine known as “GiGi” interrupts the service when she bursts through the church doors breathing heavily, obviously running from a bad situation. She looks for a seat in the crowded sanctuary but none are available until Pastor Shepherd offers his seat in the pulpit. Enraged, the elders of the church condemn his actions and are appalled that a strange woman is welcomed into their sacred place. Ironically, Leo is immediately attracted to her as she reminds him of his mother. They begin to grow closer and their feelings develop. The church finds out about the relationship and immediately has concerns about how detrimental this woman could be for the church’s image. Despite their demands and her troubled past, Leo continues to pursue this woman falling deeply in love, he proposes to her, and she says yes.
After the engagement Leo finds GiGi overdosed on drugs. On another occasion she is arrested for prostitution and Leo bails her out. Every time she falls away from God, Leo goes after her. Even at times when he wants to move on he can’t because of his unconditional love for her. As a child, Leo’s mother birthed him out of wedlock at the age of sixteen. Being the praise and worship leader at a local church they exiled her from the ministry preventing her from doing the thing which she loved, singing in church. Feeling far from God she turned to prostitution and drugs leaving Leo’s grandmother to raise him. As Leo grew up he found out why his mother was not there for him and in anger he burned a Bible in front of the church that started a fire that spread to the building. Subsequently, everyone made it out alive except his grandmother, a mistake he had to live with for the rest of his life.
In the Bible, God told Hosea a holy man to marry a prostitute named Gomer. He was instructed to be the example of God’s love for Israel, a nation who had turned their back on God. Despite all of their mistakes and wrongdoings, God still loved them. Regardless of Gomer’s actions or repeated offenses against Hosea, he was instructed by God to go find her and love her inspite of her constant sin. This is an example of God’s love for us, no matter what or how we sin, He still loves us despite it all. The same with Leo and Ginger, he loves her, just as God loves us.