Faith and egos collide in the age of mass-market religion at Houston's Rock Baptist Church, "the Baptist Super Bowl"—complete with schools, media ministries, a gym with two pools, bowling alley, dinner theatre, cineplex, retail stores, stadiums, ministries for everyone from singles and recovering alcoholics to seniors and overweight women. A search committee has been formed to find a successor to Rock's legendary pastor, eighty-one-year-old Philip Gottschall, a vigorous marvel and master strategist both in and out of the pulpit. Young Jeremiah Mears is asked to audition for the job by preaching a month of Sunday evening guest sermons. Jerry grew up listening to his wandering salesman father preach on street corners as "Christ's rabid dog"—the lives of father and son thus defined by the religion of selling and the selling of religion. Gottschall protects what he has spent a lifetime building at Rock by backing Mears as his replacement; but as Jerry gains a foothold, Gottschall's grip on his pulpit becomes as firm as his faith. The pastors' sound man—and sounding board—is Hugo Taney, a reformed wreck of a soul whose youth was wasted with "drinking, all kinds of drugs; sex I don't half remember with anything on two legs—and I do mean anything." When Hugo and Jerry discover their lives are astonishingly linked by past events, Gottschall fears their alliance and becomes haunted by "whisperings and secrets." The Biblical struggle among this trinity of men climaxes during Rock's spectacular annual electrical Christmas parade; there is a sacrifice, a resurrection and, finally, salvation as God whispers to a listening heart.
"…the pick of the litter of all the works at the Humana Festival…" —Providence Journal. "…a wealth of both drama and comedy in the struggle for power…" —LA Times. "…the first act is so funny…deepens in the second act into a sobering portrait of fear, hope and self-delusion…" —Columbus Dispatch. "…a powerful, well-constructed look at tensions between two pastors at a big Baptist church." —St. Louis Post Dispatch. "…deeply satisfying…" —In Theatre.