Elaine Scott is a long-time North Point Community Church pastor, her involvement dating back nearly 30 years. From Membership & Baptism Coordinator to Care Ministry Coordinator, she’s now the Director of Women’s Groups at Woodstock City Church. Last year she led a 4-week study through the book of Psalms and she preaches every now and then.
Woodstock City Church (WCC) is one of the eight multisite churches North Point Community Church operates, just off Ridgewalk Pkwy in Woodstock, GA. We recently covered them after a young man from the congregation came out as a “transgender woman” on Instagram and shared that his pronouns were now ‘she/her.’
Rather than WCC leaders seeing this as a sad, tragic turn of events, they celebrated him, offering multiple means of support. In particular, nearly a dozen North Point leaders were active in the comments at the news of his coming out into gender confusion, giving him “likes” and “hearts” and saying things like “beautiful” and “Be you! Much, much love.”
Clay Scroggin is another leader at North Point Ministries. The Lead Pastor of several campuses over the years, including Buckhead and the flagship North Point, many viewed his leadership as only second to Andy Stanley. Scroggins left North Point in 2021 to found his own leadership company. We wrote about him after he invited an open and unrepentant gay man to come to give a talk at North Point and then praised the gay man’s LGBT-affirming ministry, praying, “Lord, let him create more allies for the LGBTQ community.”
In 2014, a young woman named Karly approached both Elaine and Clay. A long-time congregant, she was a lesbian who dated women, even though she eschewed the label. Her reasons for coming to them for counsel were atypical. She met and spent time with a transgendered man earlier in the year, which was an experience that shook her to her core. It made her realize that all this time, she was not a gay woman attracted to other women, but rather, she was actually a straight man attracted to other women. She explains what happened next:
After meeting a transgender man in early 2014, I was able to finally understand my life in context to my thoughts and feelings. This led me to a massive decision with both my faith and family. I had no idea what GOD would think of this, let alone my family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers.
My family struggled deeply with me dating girls, and the struggle was worse when it came to finding my place at church and in GOD’s heart. I was lucky enough to meet up with clay Scroggins and Elaine Scott of NPCC, to finally find some clarity on what my life would look life in GOD’s eyes if I went through with becoming a man. What did this have on my faith, my personal relationship, and belonging in a church? I needed answers, and peace.
After meeting with them, I left that day with the weight of the world off my shoulders and this uncontrollable feeling come across me. They helped me understand that GOD loves us all, in any shape or form, because if he didn’t, he wouldn’t have sent his son down to die for ALL of our sins. If they only knew how long I had been waiting on that comfort; and those simple words. My faith from that day on exploded with joy and persistence.
It is ironic that the one place that all LGBTQ’s fear the most to be involved with (church), was the same place that brought my transition upon me. I use to hate and fear the church including all the people in it. Now, I am involved and loved, and know I belong.
She went into her meeting with the North Point pastors with a heavy heart and emerged light, free, full of clarity, and with the” weight of the world off my shoulders.”
We reached out to Scott and Scroggins to ask how it was that Zapp left the meeting walking on clouds and feeling so affirmed. We were only able to get ahold of the latter. Scroggins declined to participate in the article and bristled at the suggestion that he affirmed Troy’s decision to transition, begrudgingly offering, “I didn’t give Troy my blessing (to transition).”
That doesn’t appear to be the takeaway she got from it. Following the meeting, spiritually invigorated, she began her transition. She took hormones and testosterone. She received top surgery within the year- cutting off healthy breasts. At this time, she began dating a woman who she would eventually ‘marry.’ At some point ‘Karly’ changer her name to ‘Troy.’
In late 2015, Troy appeared at North Point Church alongside Clay Scroggins, receiving a platform to share her story and testimony with the congregants. While this audio is no longer available (if you have it, please send it to us), it’s clear that these pastors did not see her transition as a hardening of the heart or something that needed to be repented of or set aside.
In May 2016, Troy gave her testimony and was baptized by Elaine Scott, the pastor who the confused woman came to for help and guidance over her identity less than two years ago. During her baptism testimony, where she thanked her parents and girlfriend, she reveals a bit more of that conversation:
I was lucky to meet up with Elaine Scott and Clay Scroggins of North Point Community Church in order to seek answers on how to get on God’s good side and what it took to receive a passing score into his heart….They truly knew that that’s not the answers I needed to hear that day. That God loves us no matter what, and that in proof, he sent his only son down to die for our sins. That he would truly love me no matter what.
And in that moment and on that day, I truly knew what it felt like to accept Jesus Christ into my heart. For so many years I thought we had to be this perfect Christian image in order to receive God’s love and acceptance. It’s a shame that it took me this long to figure out that God’s love was already there all along.
Pastor Elaine offered:
Troy, I think your story just says it all. I mean, there is nothing greater or more freeing than knowing that God loves us. God loves you. Right where you are, exactly as you are… and I am so honored to do your baptism today. And it is based upon your profession of faith that it’s my privilege to baptize you in the name of the father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”
Troy is not the first openly unrepentant gay person to be baptized at North Point Church under Andy Stanley’s watch. In 2021 one of their churches baptized Cortland Russell, who said Gregory Cook, an LGBTQ-affirming leader at North Point who runs the pro-LGBTQ+ advocacy group Renovus, taught him how to be a queer Christian.
Cortland would also reveal that three leaders at North Point, Gregory Cook, Pastor Debbie Causey, and Sandi Harman-Waldrop, who all serve on the board of this gay-promoting group), encouraged him to be baptized.
18 months passed.
In October 2017, Scroggins again invited Troy to speak at North Point Nights as part of the Us vs. Us series for a conversation about gender. This episode has also been purged from the playlist, though some vestiges remain.
Zapp became engaged in 2018 and married her long-term girlfriend in 2020. It is unclear if the Zapps still attend one of North Point’s churches, but given that every door was open to her at every turn, we don’t see why they wouldn’t be.
Most churches would tell a professing Christian intent on ‘transitioning’ that doing so would be a grievous sin. They’d subject her to church discipline, counseling that her insistence is against God’s created order. They would tell her that God made her female and that she must pursue this design rather than the confusion she’s been plagued with. They would not give her a platform but tell her to repent.
For Stanley and his leaders, as you can see from the stories we’ve already uncovered, that’s be completely out of the question. Truly, none of this should surprise anyone. It’s not a matter of if there are more stories like this, but rather how many.
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