The Rev. Dr. Finus Gideon Gates is the charismatic, intelligent, wealthy and decidedly single favorite son of his denomination, the Baptist Methodist Assembly, where it is a "truth universally acknowledged" by the senior choir that he needs a wife. He thinks his reasons for not dating are a closely held secret. But every single woman in the Assembly and her mother know why he's not dating, and they are working overtime to get him to change his mind.
When Dr. Cassandra Brownley, a shy, sensible high school principal, accepts a consulting project with the BMA, she is caught between two opinions regarding the project's leader. The Rev. Dr. Gates is pompous and condescending from the pulpit and she can't stand him. Away from church he's witty, warm and wonderful. Can she love him-except on Sunday?