“The story of my life is profoundly unclear. It is a rock-and-roll story and, at the same time, a story of my walk with Christ. The two are melded together in ways both unpredictable and unclear.” So states Scott Stapp in his autobiography, “Sinner’s Creed: A Memoir,” co-written with David Ritz.
“Sinner’s Creed” traces Scott’s life from his boyhood in a family torn apart by divorce and abuse to his rise as the lead singer of the rock band Creed, the disintegration of his career with the band, and his struggles with depression and alcohol and drug abuse.
Although his mother remarried, and his relationship with his stepfather started out on a positive note, over time his stepfather’s rigid and legalistic ideas of Christianity and child discipline became a source of anger, rebellion, and self-doubt for Scott. A saving grace for him was his relationship with his grandfather, who was a God-fearing man and always pointed Scott to faith in God. His mother was also an influence in shaping Scott’s early relationship with God.
After leaving home Scott attended a Christian college, but things turned sour there, and eventually he enrolled at Tallahassee Community College, where he met up with an old school acquaintance, Mark Tremonti. They shared a love of music and started playing together, and the musical chemistry kicked in. From there, they hooked up with drummer Scott Phillips and bassist Brian Marshall, and the band Creed was born.
Scott Stapp’s story continues with a brief first marriage and the birth of his oldest child, a son; Creed’s rise to success and the problems that emerged between Stapp and the other band members when Stapp became the focus of attention as opposed to the whole band, and the perception many had that the band was a Christian band due to the spiritual themes that ran through many of Stapp’s lyrics. All this time he struggled with depression and substance abuse, and dealing with being a single parent to his son.
The story does not end on a negative note, however. Scott found love again with a Godly Christian woman, Jaclyn, and with her and her family’s support, spiritual renewal and the strength to face his addictions and get the help he needed. Two more children followed their marriage. And a reunion with his former Creed bandmates in 2012 also marked a more positive direction for Stapp. He has also founded a charitable organization called With Arms Wide Open Foundation, created to promote “healthy, loving relationships between children and their families.”
There are several pages of photographs from Stapp’s childhood, his wife and children, and onstage shots of him performing with Creed.The book also contains the song lyrics from Creed’s four albums, “My Own Prison,” “Human Clay,” Weathered,” and “Full Circle.”
Although I have never listened to any of Creed’s music, I was very drawn to Scott Stapp’s story and can appreciate the struggles of his spiritual journey. Those who are Creed fans will likely enjoy reading his personal account as well.
“Sinner’s Creed” is published by Tyndale House Publishers and is available at Christian bookstores, as well as online sites such as Christianbook.com, Amazon.com, and Barnes and Noble.