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Last Wednesday I had the absolute pleasure of being in the presence of the mighty O—that’s right Oprah and her all-star cast of OWN’s newest addition Greenleaf. The show which Winfrey executive produces and also guest stars in, takes viewers on a somewhat salacious ride into the unscrupulous world of the powerful Greenleaf family and their Memphis mega-church. 

With a rash of shows like AMC’s Preacher and Bounce TV’s Sinners & Saint’s turning to the pulpit to provide viewers with some drama, Greenleaf is the only one that directly depicts the black mega-church. And although the shows creator, former minister, Craig Wright, insists that the show is not about any specific congregation or community, the narrative certainly parallels to some very real life narratives we’ve seen in the news recently.

Greenleaf, which also stars acting legends Lynn Whitfield and Keith David, is Oprah’s first return back to acting on television in a recurring role. Tribeca Film Festival audiences were thrilled to see Oprah back on the small screen and loved her portrayal of Mavis McCready— a southern bar owner who can throw back shots with the best of them. Her character also plays Aunty to lead character, ironically named Grace Greenleaf.

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discussion: Will The Black Church Love Oprah’s New ‘Greenleaf’  was originally published on