How ORU’s concierge’s desk became a ministry

When God called him to full-time ministry, Steve Duclos didn’t know it would start at ORU’s concierge’s desk.

Joao Souza, Staff Writer

In 1996, Steve Duclos and his wife were pastoring a church part-time in Okmulgee when he lost his secular job because the company reduced its workforce.
He thought it would be a good opportunity to work full-time as a minister, but Duclos’ wife disagreed and encouraged him to find another secular job.
During an evening drive, Duclos passed Oral Roberts University and decided to call a friend to ask if the campus had a position available for him. Recruiters at ORU interviewed people with more qualifications than him, but the Holy Spirit led them to hire him as an IT worker, helping students in academic labs and fixing PC problems, Duclos said.
To get to and from campus, however, Duclos had to drive 100 miles a day. And the routine became overwhelming, he said.
“During my first week at ORU,” he said, “I had so many students asking questions, my mind was so exhausted. And I was going across the parking lot and I wrecked a car.”
With the transition from paper to online classwork, Duclos thought his time at the university would come to an end. In 2014, however, the vice president of the Information and Technology Department, Mike Matthews, told Duclos that his wife had seen a vision of an ORU concierge’s desk.
Nobody would fit the position better than him, Matthews told Duclos.
“Concierge’s desk was also the birth of a ministry,” Duclos said. “Thankfully, I was able to not only work on laptops or help students find their classes, but able to pray with people. I’m a minister myself. It was easy for me to get involved in their lives and pray for them.”
Duclos worked seven years at the concierge’s desk, located on the third floor of LRC. And he loved helping students find classes and fixing laptop issues. Still, the best part for him was the connection and the relationships that were built during this time.
“I established so many relationships with students,” he said. “They were life friends. The only thing I could do was to be there for them. They were there for me, sometimes.. I prayed for them and they prayed for me. It was mutual love.”
Duclos played music in the mornings to connect with students, knowing they might be tired from a night of studying or not sleeping well. He hoped the music would set a tone for the day and give students a joyful environment.
“I looked for an opportunity to engage with the students,” Duclos said. “I was the first one to make an impact in their day. Sometimes, students came in and said that the music in the morning changed their day.”
After 26 years at ORU, Duclos felt it was a time for a new beginning. During this past year, Duclos had prophecies over his life about full-time ministry, telling him that his desire to enter full-time ministry in 1996 was finally going to become a reality.
Now Duclos is leaving ORU to become a full-time missionary. He doesn’t have a specific location in mind yet, but he hopes to travel the United States and the world talking about the love of Jesus.
Before leaving ORU and the concierge’s desk, however, Duclos wanted to make sure the position would be taken by the right person.
Rasheeda Burgess, an ORU graduate student in Divinity, is taking over Duclos’s position at the desk. Just like Duclos, she started in the IT department but was quickly promoted to the IT concierge’s desk, where she has been working since the beginning of September.
“I was working at the IT department, but I always like to connect with people,” Burgess said.
Her boss recommended her for the concierge position.
“It was a God-fit more than anything. It was just one of those opportunities that if you are open and listening, you can feel God moving in space. As this position came on, I had the chance to meet Steve, and he was completely excited for me to replace him.”
Burgess is still learning the ins and outs of the concierge’s desk, but she is excited to connect with students, she said.
“It’s been a great transition so far. I’m learning new things, still trying to remember everybody’s names and who everyone is. I want this role to be the heart of wisdom for the students. I am here to cheer everyone on.”