Pastor Keith Page finds rebirth at The Loft

He redefined Costa Mesa evangelicalism when he helped found Rock Harbor; now he's leading a multiuse space.

November 29, 2013|By Jeremiah Dobruck
  • Pastor Keith Page listens and laughs with the Reclaimed Church congregation.
Pastor Keith Page listens and laughs with the Reclaimed… (Susan Hoffman,…)

Church opened on a Sunday morning in October with a Buffalo Springfield song.

Glenn Parrish stood up and strummed a guitar; its finish was worn where he rests his elbow when he talks between songs.

He danced, bending his lanky legs as he launched into the first lines.

"There's something happening here.

What it is ain't exactly clear."

About 15 people sat around him in a circle of slouchy chairs and wide couches.

Some clapped and sang. Others sat and listened. A large white dog slept on the concrete floor.

The man in charge of the service was inconspicuous in a pair of shorts and laceless Converse sneakers.

He leaned back and wore a broad smile and graying beard as he tapped along to the beat.

Keith Page doesn't often call himself a pastor anymore, but he's quick to call forth the name of Jesus and frequently talks about his "ministry."


His Sunday morning gatherings, called Reclaimed Church, are the epicenter of his operation, but as Page told his parishioners, "The things that we do beyond Sunday morning are the ripples."

Those ripples are The Loft, a repurposed suite in an office park in Costa Mesa's Westside where the church meets.

Even Page, who runs The Loft through his nonprofit, struggles to succinctly describe it.

Depending on the time of day, The Loft could become a fitness boot camp, concert venue, yoga studio, forum on human sexuality or screening room.

The Loft is Page's return to public ministry.


Rocky Past

More than a decade ago, Page was an emerging face for mainstream evangelical churches in Orange County.

The Los Angeles Times branded him a "youthful, atypical preacher" for Gen-X parishioners in the late '90s.

As Page puts it, he gave birth to Rock Harbor Church, an offshoot of what was then Mariners South Coast Church in Newport Beach and Irvine.

Page's baby attracted thousands of young attendees to Costa Mesa. Rock Harbor remains a popular destination for non-denominational Christians.

Page's success in planting the church made his sudden departure all the more difficult. In 2001, four years after Rock Harbor began, Page resigned from his position as the lead pastor of about 2,000 members.

"I left Rock Harbor in kind of a time of crisis," Page said, later explaining, "I burned out. I broke my wedding vows and resigned my ministry."

His departure, just as his appearance, grabbed the spotlight. It once again landed him in The Times and — to an extent — followed him over the next decade.

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