It begins with a long-dormant virus released from an archaeological dig in Northern Alaska.
A researcher studying the virus suffers a fever and launches into a bloody killing spree that ends with two police officers dead. A second researcher, Dr. Meg Perriman, has just flown home for the Easter holiday with her family in North Carolina, unknowingly carrying the virus. Within days, the infection spreads across the planet, sparking martial law, chaos, and widespread slaughter as many of the infected turn into flesh-eating zombies.
Meg and a few others appear to be immune, however, and the survivors gather in a megachurch called Promiseland that the U.S. government has established as an emergency shelter. The Rev. Cameron Ingram, a charismatic televangelist the president has appointed as the “zombie czar,” believes the catastrophe is a sign of the Biblical apocalypse. When a rash of natural disasters accompany the outbreak and civilization breaks down, people turn to Ingram for salvation in the face of fear and despair.
But Meg and her group of friends soon discover Ingram is not what he appears, and they are caught between the devil and the living dead.