Castle Marlowe is an artist who travels to small South Alabama towns in 1914, preaching in rural schools, where he illustrates his sermons with chalkboard sketches. After his wife drowns, he finds it difficult to balance his responsibilities. How can he continue his ministry and take care of five children? An old-maid parishioner suggests her niece in North Alabama could be a great help to him. He assumes she’s suggesting marriage. Why not? The children need a mother and plenty of men marry mail-order brides they’ve never met. It would solve his problem. He sends money for the woman’s niece to come but when she arrives, he’s shocked to learn she’s only sixteen. However, marrying a sixteen-year-old is the least of his problems. Dark secrets abound that would shock the small town and destroy his ministry, if revealed. When his eldest son discovers what he’s hiding, the already fractured family is about to become unraveled. Could this be the end of the Chalkboard Preacher?