On OWN’s new mega-church drama, Greenleaf, Lynn Whitfield plays Lady Mae Greenleaf, the wife of Bishop James Greenleaf, who leads Greenleaf World Ministries in Memphis, Tennessee.

Lady Mae believes deeply in both God and the family business. “She’s also a real believer in the power of controlling a family business, which happens to be a church,” Lynn says. “She also brings to the family and to the church a kind of grace, elegance and no-messin’-around attitude all in one.”

Ultimately, Lynn says, she has a deep appreciation for her character. “I find her to be a very interesting, layered character, flawed, with many great qualities,” Lynn says. “Just a real challenge and joy to play because we are presenting a woman who has good traits and has problems.”