On OWN’s new mega-church drama, Greenleaf, Merle Dandridge plays Grace “Gigi” Greenleaf, the daughter of Bishop James Greenleaf.

Grace, Merle says, is known as the prodigal daughter of the very powerful, wealthy Memphis family running the enormous mega-church Greenleaf World Ministries. “Grace comes home after a 20-year absence,” Merle says. “Before she was gone, she was meant to take over for the bishop. It was a big loss when she left because she had a huge rift happen with her family, and in the Greenleaf family, God and family is everything for them.”

Grace heads home because her sister Faith has died. “At one point, that was the closest person in the world to her,” Merle says. “It’s said to be suicide, but she’s not quite sure about that. So she’s coming back to find out, to bring the truth to the light because so much has been pushed down and not talked about, and she’s here to let it all out of Pandora’s box.”