Darrin Hill (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) has just lost his job with a New York advertising firm and bill collectors are chasing him all over the city. But just when he thinks his luck has completely run out, Darrin discovers he's the only surviving relative of his Aunt Sally who has just left him $150,000.00. Traveling back to his small hometown of Montecarlo, Georgia, to attend the funeral and collect his inheritance, Darrin soon discovers that Sally's written a tiny catch into her will. Her last wish is that her beloved nephew create a choir, enter it in the annual Gospel Explosion and bring home a victory.
Between the bickering and the difficulties finding talented singers in the community, not to mention that his heart just isn't into the whole thing, Darrin has his work cut out for him...until he meets Lilly (Beyoncé Knowles). A beautiful jazz singer with a voice to match, Lilly awakens feelings in Darrin he didn't know he had. Suddenly, collecting the money or heading back to New York City aren't important anymore, and he realizes that Aunt Sally left him something much more than an inheritance.
At the center of the new community that Darrin discovers is the Beulah Baptist Church, a meeting place for an eclectic and hilarious cast of characters not to mention a showcase for a young, talented group of rising stars.