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Architectural Design …on a Mission

When JMT Architecture’s Father Fred Nnebue was presented with the opportunity to travel from his home in Southeast Nigeria to America, he enthusiastically accepted. Bishop Augustine, of the Archdiocese of Orlu, conceived three separate missions – architecture, civil engineering, and law – all with the goal of improving Nigerian life. Leaving his family and friends, Father Fred began his mission by traveling to Washington, DC where he learned to understand the conducive places where people worship through the lens of architectural design.

After spending four years with the Archdiocese of Washington, DC, coupled with his studies at Catholic University, Father Fred received a Master of Architecture. Upon graduation, he transitioned to the Archdiocese of Baltimore where he was referred to a Baltimore-based architecture firm – JMT Architecture. Specifically, he was told that architectural practice lead, Al Rubeling, would be the ideal mentor to impart a technical understanding of “why” and “how” Father Fred’s mission is so vital to Nigeria’s infrastructure.

His desire to create lasting change for Nigeria expands beyond just churches, overflowing into a need to improve other church-owned properties, such as school and rectories. These structures were built with poor quality materials, and Father Fred hopes to re-build structures so they can withstand the test of time. He is in awe of the American churches he has seen and the history that they represent.

His mission lends itself to the very religion to which he has devoted his life. Just like any biblical hero, no person can finish such a significant mission without help. Returning to Nigeria will mean that he is ready to impart the wisdom learned during his time in America. He will be among the leaders who teach the proper methods to improve failing infrastructure through architectural design. When that day comes, he will build upon the connections he has cultivated here, anticipating that help will come, in the form of time and money, to assist in enhancing the Nigerian way of life.

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