Greenleaf begins with Grace meeting with the victims of sexual abuse in a support group. One woman, Stacy, recounts how her stepfather abused her. After the session, Grace commends her on being so open and sharing her story with them. Stacy’s husband, however, arrives with their two daughters and demands she hurry and come along with them. At the house, James and Mae arrive home from a dinner date. James reminds Mae that he is going to have to go to Alabama and preach at another church, and with Jacob sat down he will need Grace to preach. He is not sure she will go for it though. Mae feels uneasy about Grace getting back into the pulpit, fearing she will embarrass them. Kerissa finds Jacob fiddling with his phone again, texting someone. He reveals it is an associate, Craig, who could help get his father on television. Kerissa feels it is a good idea for them to move onto something different, with his current situation and Grace now being back.
The next morning, Charity confronts Nigel about choosing a flat soloist for Sunday’s service. He refuses to change the soloist and tells her another church across town has offered him complete artistic control. Charity suggests he take their offer and walks off furiously. James talks to Grace about stepping up, and tells her he needs her to preach on Sunday. She refuses, telling him that is not what she returned home to do. He reminds her she is the associate pastor and that she must preach in his absence. Grace reluctantly agrees to do so. That night Kevin continues to flip through guys’ pictures on a gay dating app while Charity becomes frustrated with choosing a new choir director based on their resumes. He helps her narrow her search by picking them based on their picture like on a dating app. His advice works, and she tells him how thankful she is that neither one of them has to be on dating apps. He resumes checking guys out on his phone. Jacob sets up a dinner meeting with Craig and his wife at the house. There, Kerissa charms Craig with her hors d’oeuvres and knowledge of Houston art and culture. Jacob notices Craig is checking her out, and his wife comes on to him. Craig suggests their next meeting be at their cabin in the woods where they have a hot tub. Later that night, Jacob tries to come onto Kerissa but she rebuffs his advances.
The next morning Grace goes to one of the other ministers for advice on a sermon. He tells her that he often finds inspiration for his sermon in the most simple ways in things and people around him. Before he can go on, Noah interrupts their meeting to tell her Stacy is in her office battered! Stacy’s eye is swollen and her lips are bust. Kevin and Grace work together to try and find her a shelter she can go to, but all of them are full. She refuses to go to the county shelter due to the health conditions there. When she prepares to go home, they decide to use some of the church funds to get her a hotel room for the night. At the hotel, Stacy promises to pay them back. Grace tells her to stay there as long as she needs to, but she cannot go back to her husband in his current state. Stacy tells her she does not want her daughters to grow up without a father and gets them ready for bed. James meets with Mavis about Grace’s reluctance to preach and what she really came home for. Mavis tells him he already knows and that he is just meeting with her confirm it. He tells her that being with her makes him think of another life.
Charity interviews a prospective choir director and they hit it off immediately. She offers him the job before learning he is openly gay with a partner. She tells him she is fine with it. She reluctantly tells Kevin about it feeling he will be uneasy. However, he is more concerned about what James will think. When Grace returns to the hotel to check on Stacy she finds she has checked out. That night, Kerissa and Jacob prepare to meet with Craig and his wife. Jacob implies that the couple are swingers and will want to have sex with them. Kerissa tells him he has made a fool of her for years and should not care if another man touches her. Jacob tells her she is his and he does not ever want anyone being with her. They end up making love and not going. Mae and James face off over Grace preaching. Mae feels Jacob should be reinstated immediately, but James is not sure he will ever reinstate him. He tells his wife that had Grace never left, then Jacob would never have been thought to become a pastor. Mae feels he is punishing her for Faith’s death. He tells her he does not blame her, he blames himself AND her. She demands he leave.
Grace prepares her sermon while Zora and Sophia ready themselves for bed. Sophia reveals she will be doing a solo at the church that Sunday, and Zora advises Grace to download a sermon for fifty dollars off the internet the way her father does. Mae comes to speak with Grace about her sermon. There she warns her not to use the pulpit to embarrass the family. Grace, feeling her mother does not love her, tells her she understands. The next day just before service Mae notices how happy Kerissa and Jacob are and tells them they have an ally in her and God. Grace takes to the altar and plans to teach a scripture from Matthew, but when she sees Stacy and her husband in the congregation she takes a different route!