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Home > Author > Barie Fez-Barringten
Barie Fez-Barringten

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  Barie Fez-Barringten

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Published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing and John Wiley and sons, and many monographs published by peer reviewed journals in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, England, Turkey, Denmark and USA. Currently writing memoirs, autobiography and many articles on Saudi Arabia,urbanism,and one called Bronx Stardust about his first 21 years growing up in New York City."

Background Information

The author welcomes invitaions to speak to a group at a university or other venues. The authors writings are based on his lecture series presented in 1968 at Yale University called “Architecture: The Making of Metaphors” which was then published in part in Main Currents in Modern Thought, then in many other journals including research into the works of Paul Weiss, Andrew Ortony, David Zarefsky and W. J. J. Gordon. Barie Fez-Barringten is an Associate Professor at Global University in the United States.


“Bariko” (as his grandmother would call him) grew up in one of New York City's boroughs called the Bronx. Both his father and mother were New Yorkers where his father's parents came from the Mediterranean's Greek Island of Rhodes while his mother's parents were from Austria. His father did very well in his own business, yet they lived in a notoriously bad section of Morrisania called the "East Bronx" which later would be made famous by a movie called “Fort Apache”. It was not that his family could not afford to live somewhere else but they could never come to a mutual agreement to relocate.

There were no drugs or drinking in his home; but, there also was no harmony or peace; Jesus was missing. Because Barie had an urban childhood love of pop music, movies and radio, he still can recite most soap box radio commercials, radio themes, and stories. His muti-cultural neighborhoods, friends and family made him perfect for God’s work in foreign lands.


As a very little boy, he recalls that before sunrise he would leave his ground floor apartment to walk around the quiet New York city streets; exploring , searching, and, perhaps, looking for some thing he knew was missing in his life. Later in his school years, his English teacher, John McGiver noticed his quest for wisdom, and, gave him an opportunity to learn Shakespearean English preparing Barie to easily read and understand the bible’s King James version. Normally, this would have been hard to read for a little boy from the Bronx yet Barie could not stop reading for in his heart he knew that he would find what he sought.


Even so, Barie did not know the Holy Spirit, but, apparently, the Holy Spirit knew that Barie was "hyper active" and nightly suffered from nightmares so that when he was about six years of age, one night God sent Barie an angel who appeared in his bed room. Barie was frightened, yet he listened to the angel’s soft voice; and, when the angel left, he ran to his parent’s bedroom to explain what happened. They both welcomed him, but did not understand the significance of this event. His parents never really understood their oldest son's hunger for spiritual knowledge and education.


They definitely had no idea about his creativity, energy, and imagination. But God, his heavenly father, understood the needs of His child. And, so, he sent an angel with a word of His knowledge to the boy. After the angel had left, Barie's mind revealed a vision, which he could only understand as his soul's grown-up person. A person who has been watching him ever since and assuring him that all was well.


Because Barie loved swimming at the "YMCA" he easily passed the American Red Cross senior lifeguard exam and later was a favorite assistant lifeguard at the “Y” and Shore haven beach club at the Bronx’s Classon Point. While he lived in one neighborhood he lived a Tom Sawyer lifestyle  exploring graveyards, sawdust mills, riding on the backs of street cars, digging fox holes and building his own apartment out of orange crates and blankets within the sun porch of his parents front room.


The presence of the Holy Spirit in Barie's life helped him as a little boy to survive the brutality dispensed by the children living in his neighborhoods. Daily he'd suffer individual and gang-related beatings, fights, and torment on his way to and from school. He refused not to belong to such street gangs. The violence, ugliness, and sin they advocated was repugnant to Barie. In another neighborhood they lived, on Halloween gangs would throw dogs and cats off the roofs of the tenements and one Halloween two warring armies of gangs marched with knives, clubs and pitch forks from both ends of his block to met in front of his tenement building for a massacre of epic proportion. Nightly there were the sounds of sirens and gunshots. As soon as he arrived home, he'd slip into his own creative world of radio broadcasting, art and music. One his favorite programs was the “Greatest Stories Ever Told” which dramatized various bible stories.


He was nine years old when he completed a remarkable watercolor painting inspired by Debussy’s “Daphne and Chloe". It was a scene of a little boy standing on rocky seashore in a stormy night holding high a lantern to signal a sailing ship at sea. Many thoughts ran through his mind as he created the painting. Did he think to save the ship from coming too close to the dangerous stony cliffs, or, did he signal the ship to "rescue" him. Perhaps, it was a bit of both. He did not know of Jesus Christ, yet already then, in his heart he knew that he needed to be "saved"; and, in turn, he yearned to save others. He could well understand person's who were persecuted, abused, and disabled. His mother often noted how he'd favor the lone and rejected. A profile of his friends consisted of handicapped, mentally retarded, obese, poor, disenfranchised and lonely children. Because he believed in the goodness in all people, he befriended some of the bullies and gang-leaders leading them away form their dysfunctional way of viewing themselves and the world. Some told him that he was the most decent person they ever knew in their lives. Barie knew he was on a mission.


Still, at that young age, he ventured out, without his parents but sometimes with his little friends to either Manhattan or Brooklyn, to attend concerts or violin concertos played by such artists as Yehudi Menuin. With his first earnings for working at various jobs, he bought recordings of classical music. And, with most of his money, he opened a saving account at a neighborhood branch of the "Dollar Savings Bank"; the bank and school unanimously voted him as the class' banker responsible for weekly collections and deposits. Because he was the bank’s very first customer, he received many gifts and was “best friends” with the bank’s manager.


Yet, he did all that on his own, for his parents never developed an interest (or perhaps an understanding) for these kinds of things. Later on, for his high school, he was its' band's tuba player. And, at home, he designed stage settings for story scenes and his puppet shows. He did that to give joy to his little brother; and, whoever else would look at his miniature creations. Barie was a communicator who loved to entertain, and relate. He found his muse at an early age.   


The family finally moved to a better neighborhood where Barie had other kinds of friends. He also has memories of spending family events and holidays with his innumerable cousins. The many cousins came from his father's nine brothers and two sisters; and, his mother's two sisters and three brothers. His many ants and uncles liked him, but he was truly loved by his grand mother who affectionately called him "Bariko", the bible name for barie; together they sang and danced to Greek music and she cooked the great Greek dishes, which he still loves so much.

When he was fourteen years old, he went to work. Soon he became quite independent. When he decided to go to college and  did not accept the offer from his father to join the family business he was on his own to work his way through Pratt Institute as carpenter, drape hanger, matre'd'hotel, renderer, glass etcher, decorator; and, Good Humor ice cream , magazines, and construction services salesman.  

Also, during that time, he founded Pratt Institute's radio station and he became a licensed radio broadcaster.

When he graduated Pratt, he won the first prize for his portfolio to be employed by a top New York interior design firm. Later despite, not yet being an architect, he worked as a designer for famous architectural firms such as Edward Durrel Stone and Morris Lapidus, his drawings were used by them in books about their award winning designs and office practices.

He saved his money, and, several years later traveled extensively throughout Europe. It was during this trip that he created hundreds of pen and ink sketches of 72 cities. There he observed the culture and the architecture of most of the important cities. It was a very beneficial experience and two years later, he moved to New Haven Connecticut, to earn his master’s degree in architecture at Yale University.

Shortly before he left New York, he met his future wife, Christina who had studied fine arts at Columbia University, and, was already represented by art galleries in Manhattan's East Fifty Seventh Street and another on Madison Avenue.

Christina was born in Leipzig, Germany, which was a city known for its music and culture and played its part during the time of the reformation of Martin Luther; and, more recently, the fall of communism. Christina was confirmed in the same Lutheran church that Johan Sebastian Bach was cantor. Leipzig was also the home of Luther, Handel, Wagner, Mendelssohn, Goethe, Nitche and many more who worked in and around Leipzig.

After the war, Christina began to study theology at Leipzig University. Soon the communist closed that department and Christina had to leave her home and flee to the west. Fortunate for Barie, she decided to continue her studies in New York and when they met, they immediately found they had much in common. She was the first person with whom he could discuss God and spiritual issues concerning him since childhood. They married in New Haven 1966.


At Yale, to the wonder of his fellow students, he had already his own drafting business and, his wife created and welded heavy artistic metal trees, which she sold at a gallery on New York's Madison Avenue. Their studies, work and their happiness of being together kept them from getting too involved in the hippie culture of the sixties including Woodstock because they were not interested in mass events with drugs and alcohol.

With Drs. Paul Weiss and Charles Moore as his mentors Barie  created a lecture services at Yale called “Architecture, The Making of Metaphors” which was published in “Main Currents in Modern Thought” and later became the subject of many monographs published in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia , U. S. of A., England, Turkey and Finland.


Even when they did not go to church, they knew the presence of God in their lives, which became apparent when Barie graduated. It was February and in new Haven it was bitter cold so they suddenly decided not to return to New York nor to peruse a career in Alaska but to go and spend a year or two in Puerto Rico where it was warm and sunny. Quickly they put their belongings into storage, and within a few days, they flew on the midnight plane to San Juan. They had only the addresses of the president of the Yale club and a manager of Morris Lapidus architectural offices that was just finishing the design of the El Conquistador but like children, they had faith. They believed that when they get there, all would be well; he Lord did not disappoint them.


They arrived in Puerto Rico at four a .m. and waited in an all-night cafe for a civilized hour to call the Yale club’s president, John Franciscus at his Condado real estate office. Because he happened to be a realtor, by nightfall, he had found a well designed and constructed condominium overlooking San Juan’s Miramar Bay. While they were in his office, he reminded them over and over again how crazy they were to come in the middle of the high season to Puerto Rico with out preparation when there is absolutely no room available anywhere. But God found a wonderful place. The apartment already had a bed, dining table and a sofa and most importantly a telephone. For them it seemed like heaven but for most of the people who learned to know them, they claimed it was a miracle.


Obeying the quickening of the Holy Spirit, within a few days Barie found a great opportunity working as Junior Partner in the biggest architecture and engineering firm in Puerto Rico. During all that time, the Lord was blessing both of them. One day while helping some Peace Corps people in La Pearle, a famous slum in San Juan, Barie met pastor Bergen from the Grace English Lutheran church. This prompted him from then on to go regularly to church and soon due to the encouragement of Christina became active in church activities. Pastor Bergen put him in charge of his church refurbishing project. To cut the costs, Barie was blessed to get many donations from the local merchants for that project. All seamed to go well until pastor Bergen, that wonderful man of God, suffered a brain hemorrhage and died while working on the roof of the church building. Barie was greatly discouraged in his new faith. How can that happen? As if this was not enough, shortly after that tragedy, Barie’s senior partner, a good Catholic, who truly loved the Lord died when he was hit by a bus. This made his other senior partner, Elloy Ruiz, worried about his own health and so Elloy decided to close the business. What a blow, Barie felt the pain of the loss of these two wonderful men and now he thought his career, as he saw it, was wiped out.

Where was the benefits of his new religion, he wondered. It was after Pastor’s untimely death and at the encouragement of Christina and personal invitation of the bishop that the acting pastor of Grace English Lutheran Church in Santurce baptized Barie.

Just before leaving Puerto Rico, Raphael Corrada, the head of the Department of Education contracted with Barie to make an island wide plan of all the public libraries and the sister-in-law of his deceased partner invited him to design a very fashionable women’s boutique in the Condado. Barie had already designed many building in Puerto Rico including the El Mundo towers, Ron Rico bottling plant, a vocational high school in Cayey and a police station in Santurce. In the midst of all of this, they made cameo appearance in TV commercials and major movies such as “Stiletto”. Barie’s work and the pop art of their apartment were published in some of the local newspapers.

Yet they were greatly discouraged and returned to New York.


In New York, he worked part-time as assistant professor at his old school, Pratt institute. They produced two of the first Earth Day events, the latter of which resulted in U- Thant declaring Earth Day an International holiday. With the help of his wife, friends and some students, he transformed a badly neglected four thousand square foot loft on East 65 Street of the upper eastside of Manhattan into a great residence, architectural office, studio and teaching space. With this facility, Barie and Christina founded a nonprofit organization called (L. M. E.) “Laboratories for Metaphoric Environments"

where they invited high school children from Harlem and other parts of the city to design, draw, learn construction and see slides of outstanding buildings of important cities. In addition, they encouraged them to go into the design and construction business. Also, they taught them how to repair or remodel their own home, for which they all had a desperate need. To fund these projects and programs they asked several organizations and the Lutheran Church for support. There was little response. Rather, the Lutheran church asked Barie to design a program to simulate what Pastor Bergin and he did in Puerto Rico, which was to organize the congregation to help one another to remodel each other’s habitat. Out of this and other inventive proposals came “Habitat for Humanity” and other design/construction programs for the poor and disenfranchised.

In that time of active involvement toward social welfare of children in Harlem, and teaching at Pratt Institute, the City of New York rewarded the office several large projects. Then in the middle of designing and planning, the City of New York announced, it can not pay for the work done because at that time the city was contemplating bankruptcy. At that stage of his career, Barie had no resources to wait for future payments or changes in the city’s financial situation. And once again, he was on full stop. He had to admit that in his creative excitement he had neglected God and made business and career the most important part of his life.


The circumstances in New York City in the early seventies were the reasons Barie closed up shop and moved to Tennessee. There he was hired as a chief architect to develop the "real estate holdings” of a large insurance company.

Again, he had great hopes for the future in his profession. In trust, he bought a lovely house for him and his wife, but within nine months after his wife arrived with the furniture disaster struck again. Because of the oil embargo and the shortage of fuel, the northern market’s potential buyers upon which the company depended immediately cancelled their visits. Because the company’s margin was over extended it lost many of its licensees to sell insurance in many states and had to liquidate its real estate assets, close the real estate division and soon the whole company filled for bankrupsy protection under chapter 11.


Again, his professional career was interrupted. Soon he found the little town of Jackson had little work for an architect in his former capacity. He had no answer. It was very difficult. It was the first time that he was without a job for over a month. And the first time that he realized how little he had control over his own destiny. Regularly, Barie and Christina attended the Lutheran church to pray and find peace by surrendering all to God. At this time, Barie also created a collection of pen and ink drawings called “Sheba-Land and exhibited water color and humorous pen and ink drawings at many Tennessee art fairs and galleries in Memphis and Jackson. Some business men even commissioned Barie to design some residences, offices and factories.

And then, just when they thought they would loose the house, a call came from the Gulf Oil Real Estate Development Company (GOREDCO). The company needed a project manager to build several large buildings for their headquarters in Houston and as God willed, they chose Barie.

Now, he thought he understood God. He let him go through all the job changes in order to be experienced enough to be chosen for this position. This was the best position he could ever expect. As a grade code 17, he was told the next promotion would make him a vice president of one of the top fortune 500 companies, the Gulf Oil Corporation. It appeared there were many prosperous years ahead for him. He worked hard. They joined all the right clubs. Christina pursued her fine art career and was active in several charitable organizations. And once more in all those very worldly activities where they had little time for God except for Christina who had an unforgettable Holy Spirit experience just before she came to Tennessee (a story in its own) and did watch both the "700 Club" and "PTL" programs on television and later wrote a book called the “Holy Spirit and I”.


The years went by quickly. And then, once again Barie was out of a job. The Gulf Oil Corporation lost its oilfields in Kuwait had to close its doors. No mater how much he tried to find a job based on his years of outstanding professional experience his effort sending out two thousand resumes to all possible corporations, universities and architectural firms did not get one positive response. For him it was the end. Only his wife’s encouragement and her steadfastness made his life bearable. Plus, Gulf Oil provided him with an outplacement service and huge stipend to help them over this long dry period.


The light at the end of the tunnel turned out to be his real estate license and part time teaching position at the University of Houston. For him it was always very satisfying to help young people to expand their minds. Under his guidance, his students explored the future with NASA’s Astronaut, Joe Allen who visited his class. Barie also taught a course as the architect as real estate developer and helped one student actually develop plans to create Houston’s Chinatown. In other classes, they designed and built space stations, and did other creative explorations in a course called “the future”. Because of his accomplishments at Gulf and his success teaching at University of Houston, he was offered a professorship by Texas A&M University.

The couple sold their house in Houston and moved to College Station, It was a challenge for Christina to adjust to the small salary of a professor at an aggie school. But because she was German and had experienced the agonies of war including the bombing of her city, Leipzig, the Russian occupation of Eastern Germany, the cold, the hunger and shortage of all necessities she knew how to make ends meet and all was well. Material loses meant very little to Christina. She knew what it meant to loose much, and more than that, she had lost her beloved former husband Paul to an accident.

She lost her home in Germany and the Iron Curtain prevented her from seeing her family. During the war, when the city was bombed by allied forces, her home, her father’s factory and business was destroyed. And by now, her parents had died leaving little of real value from her past. She rarely looked back in her life. She looked forward, and always saw a bright future. She truly trusted in God, and listened to the Holy Spirit. They easily adjusted to their new environment. Christina liked to host their new friends from the university and Barie’s students who came to their home for advice.


Soon it became very apparent it was the will of God that the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, becomes a major part of Barie’s life.

At that, time cable TV offered two twenty four hour Christian channels with many good programs. Barie developed an interest to listen to Pentecostal preaching. Yet it needed the teaching of Baptist, Dr. Charles Stanley to convince Barie that Jesus Christ was the Son of God and that he was alive indeed. Barie had never been too comfortable to believe that, but once he did, Barie’s life changed and he spent his every free minute listening to television preachers.

For making a donation to a TV ministry Christina received a pin, which read “Jesus First". She later fastened this little pin onto Barie’s shirt and when a student asked what church he attended he sad, truthfully," if I go, I go to the Lutheran Church.” Ricky, his student was not satisfied with this answer and invited him to come to his little store-front church. Barie was too busy to give it much thought. The school had important visitors from the Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO) and he was invited to attend several meetings.

At the meetings, they asked educators like Barie to join “ARAMCO", to educate and prepare young Saudis for business. The choice fell on him. "Why me, I do not went to go to Saudi Arabia," said Barie. But the dean of the school and his colleagues were very persuasive and some even envied. It was a good business opportunity, and it included the possibility of easy travel to the Orient and Europe, which all sounded very inviting. And so, within a few months they arrived in Saudi Arabia, but not before God brought him into the body of Christ. In the meantime, John Wiley and son’s inc. had contracted with Barie to publish his manuscript called “Project Manual Standards” (P.M.S.) and Barie had written an essay on communications for the Project Management Institute (PMI) called “The Communicator” (based on the device used in “Star Trek”).

To continue, one Sunday morning Ricky stood before their house door inviting both to come with him to church. Christina immediately agreed, but Barie was reluctant to go. Finally, they went to the little storefront church in Bryan. Waiting for their arrival were more of Barie’s students. His wife watched him during the service. He stood there stiff like a board, and when the service was over, he grabbed her hand and rushed for the car. Afterwards, he told here, "next Sunday we will leave the house very early for the Lutheran Church so when Ricky comes he will find us gone". She agreed.

But the next Sunday earlier then he could imagine several his students again stood before the door and with great joy, Christina and Barie were escorted to the little Pentecostal storefront church. The music started and Barie began to sing. Slowly his hands lifted and he reached out for the Lord. When the pastor gave the altar call, he could not help but glide forward to give his life to Jesus, and then, the Holy Spirit gave him his prayer language and from the depths of his heart, he spoke to his Father.


In that little storefront church Barie experienced the congregation’s loving kindness more then he had ever known from his own family.

He was certain Jesus loved him. And he knew he had come home to his father in heaven. Now securely under the guidance of the Holy Spirit his Lord released him to go to Saudi Arabia. At that time, he did not realize that while was going to enter the worldly kingdom of Saudi Arabia he had already entered the Kingdom of God. The only sense he had of that was how he naively proclaimed to the “Living Word” church elders his happiness to go to a place where he and every one openly praised God.


However, he quickly learned that in Saudi Arabia that there was no religious freedom. That meant, he could not practice his faith nor could he posses a bible. If he got caught with it, he would be jailed. Before Barie and Christina, left they ask the Lord for protection and their luggage and bible passed the customs safely. Once there, they easily found other Christians. They discovered a great deal of Christian activities safely tucked away in the so called "underground". Immediately they got involved, however they soon realized that the whole region on the Arabian Gulf was dominated by Christian leaders who had very little understanding of the Holy Spirit. To his dismay after two years of work in ARAMCO God closed the door again and opened a new position for him in the capital city, Riyadh.

During this period when he lost his job, he still questioned God. But later, he understood that God had a calling for him and He brought about the many changes not to help his career as an architect but to teach him faith so he may be an effective worker for the Lord Jesus Christ. He was being honed to follow the great”go ye” commission

He had a five year contract, and now after less than two years he was again out of a job. Even so, he knew that it was the rule in that company that whenever a Saudi national with the proper qualification claims the job of an American the American must be terminated. And since his job was very influential, it was one of the most desirable to young Saudis returning from their education in the USA.

However, his new position in Riyadh was even more interesting interesting. He had to oversee the construction supervision and re-design phase of eleven new towns for the Internal Security Forces scattered in many different towns and villages of Saudi Arabia. But much more interesting to him was, his discovery of many large underground Christian churches with up to one thousand members. Soon he realized that the city was the worlds largest breading ground for Charismatic Pentecostals. He knew then why God had called him to Riyadh. He was needed and immediately got involved in every facet of the movement by teaching, preaching, healing and organizing. It was exiting and rewarding.

One day when Barie and Christina took account of what they were doing, they realized God had actually called them to be missionaries.

Up to then Barie believed, his secular career was first but now that he was aware that it was not so. He suddenly lost his interest in striving to “be” an architect with accompanying worldly ambitions. God had rather called him into His service long ago and now he finally said, “Yes Lord, here I am." (Henea).  

During the occasions when Christina was not in the kingdom, they corresponded on hundreds of cassette tapes shipped back and forth through regular mail. Barie would record himself preaching and teaching as well as social events, conversations, including the city’s sights and sounds. Christina would circulate these tapes in the church and many commented about Barie’s abilities at “special English’ and patient manner to communicate with so many people of differing countries and languages. The Holy Spirit had truly transformed Barie.

Now he was determined to be like the Apostle Paul, a tentmaker with his feet firmly on the ground of the world, but his heart and mind unshakably with his Lord Jesus Christ. It was the will of God for him to be a tentmaker and a consultant. He pursued God’s service in as many secular events God could lead. He became a problem solver for large conglomerates, architectural and construction firms. These kinds of positions afforded him the time and affluence to carry out the Lord’s work.

In Saudi Arabia, there were people from all over the world who worked in various international companies at so many different contracted job functions from janitors and clerks to professional engineers, architects, doctors, investment bankers, etc. For their benefit, he formed African, Korean Japanese, Arabian and many other groups to which he preached and taught the gospel. He conducted a bible school and organized “Singspirations” in remote parts of the dessert where almost three thousand Christians gathered to praise the Lord.

In addition, his ministerial groups used their tithe to support new churches in the Philippines, India, Yemen, Pakistan, Tanzania, Eritrea, etc. . . . And, they helped when needed to support the families of the thousands of catholic workers, from the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Pakistan India and other countries, who had given their life to Jesus. This was an exhilarating and rewarding ten years for both Christina and Barie.

Because the law in Saudi Arabia was that no foreign worker could stay in the country while immigration paperwork was being processed the couple needed an affordable place to stay during their vacation and particularly the months between changes of contract sponsors. However, a little damper came when the exchange rate between the Schilling and the dollar changed drastically. It prompted them to surrender their lovely condominium in the Austrian Alps of Tyrol.

Yearly, in this regard Barie had lost one to three months salary. Still to come back to Saudi, and to continue the work for the Lord was worth that sacrifice. But when they could not break-even, they were compelled to relocate back to America. The question was where.


By chance, so she thought, Christina saw a tiny advertisement in a German newspaper, saying, “buy a house in Lehigh Acres Florida” She thought that sunny Florida was good idea and decided to take a look. And, yes, it was a lovely place. There, she noticed the churches and she reasoned that a place with so many churches must be blessed so she rented a house. Thinking of the future, she also bought a vacant lot on which she might build and waited for the furniture shipment from Austria to arrive.

She was anxious for the shipment to arrive because she needed the documents of her stock portfolio particularly those she needed to sell in order to have the money to build their dream house. The shipment was due in September but actually arrived October 22, 1987 three days after the famous stock market crash called Black Monday, which was the second largest one-day decline in recorded stock market history. And so, once again they lost it all, including the “dream” of a so-called “dream house”.

What now, as there was very little money left to by a house. She prayed and asked God for help. His answer was, buy a manufactured home. God, she argued privately, my husband is an architect; we can not possibly live in a manufactured home. But obedient as she was, she opened the phonebook and there was a full page display advertising a particular country club featuring manufactured homes. She went to investigate, and when she saw the development, she knew that God had chosen that place for them. This gated community with its small but lovely houses was a much better solution. It was the ideal home for two people who are in service to the Lord and needed to be free of responsibility of houses and other possessions, which would only be burdens to their minds. And so Christina moved into the new house, and when Barie came home for Christmas it became very clear, God had a plan for them and all they must do is to accept His will and obey the quickening of the Holy Spirit.

At a bible study in the development Christina had met two couples who shortly after his arrival asked Barie to be their pastor for a yet to be formed small community church for which they had prayed for so long. They knew he was a pastor, licensed and ordained by the “Gospel Crusades “in Bradenton under the former Mennonite-Quaker, Gerald Dirstine. Regretfully, he could not accept their invitation, for he was still under contract in Saudi Arabia and planed to return right after Christmas. Yet he soon learned there was no return to Saudi Arabia. God had ordained it differently.

Auspiciously, nearly ten potential sponsors called and advised Barie not to return. Christina and Barie wondered, what in the world was going on. A few months later, they got their answer. God did not want them to be in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War. But, God wanted a church in that development in Florida. And so, Barie and Christina accepted the challenge and went full speed ahead to form the precious “Christian Fellowship”.

It was a truly blessed time. The congregation grew in the Lord. But Barie felt something was not quiet right. When he met Pastor Dan Betzer at a special occasion, the answer came. He realized that his spiritual conviction was that of the Assembly of God, and therefore, he felt he should be part of the Assemblies of God. Pastor Betzer agreed. And in 1992, while after Barie passed all his necessary requirements, to the great satisfaction of Brother Hubert Wilder, Barie became licensed by the Assembly of God. 

Barie’s church at the Florida development had grown physically and spiritually. In addition, he and Christina planned to establish a mission in Leipzig Germany. However, in the midst of all these activities and preparation God called the couple again into the mission field. They could hardly believe with what speed God made things happen. First Debby came to live near them right after she was exited out of Saudi Arabia discharged from her nursing contract because she had converted a female Saudi Arab physician. Debby came with bad news that not only had she had to leave but so many others had to leave as well. Right after the end of the Gulf War the religious police raided and closed many fellowships.


All the pastors and elders had been imprisoned and then deported. And all the Christians were without leaders. She advised Barie, to "return to Saudi Christians in that hostile kingdom who needed spiritual support and leadership". Barie listened, but could not help. How could he leave his church, and furthermore, he had neither a contract nor sponsor in Saudi. For him it seemed impossible. For God it was not. No sooner than Debby made her pleas that Barie got a call from the dean of Saudi Arabia’s King Faisal University offering him a professorship on the condition he be immediately available. This was the second call from God, still Barie sad no, for he would have no replacement pastor for his church in that short a time. However, unknown to Barie God had already prepared the heart of a pastor he had known for many years but had been too busy to visit his church. Unexpectedly, this pastor came to their house, and said, "Barie if you ever must go on a mission, I can take care of your church.'" This was the third time God called. Now Barie understood. He accepted God’s command “go ye”, and with out delay he prepared to leave for Saudi Arabia.


Barie had been burdened by the lack of continuous relationships between believers who knew each other in Saudi but lost contact when they returned to their point of origin. He prayed for an organization, which would keep them in contact with one another.

God directed him to discover ICI and after speaking to the director, they agreed that Barie be the kingdom’s director and one of ICI’s adjunct faculty members. The president of ICI suggested that Barie contact pastor Dan Betzer to endorse and sponsor their one week’s orientation to ICI headquarters; Pastor Betzer already supported their initiatives in Leipzig as well as Saudi Arabia. After an auspicious meeting with his board that same evening, pastor Betzer called Barie to announce that his board agreed to sponsor both the orientation fees and trip to Dallas.

About bringing ICI books into Saudi Arabia, the president of ICI had initially responded with caution because a few months before ICI had tried to smuggle ICI material into Saudi Arabia but it had been all confiscated and the men in Saudi Arabia were arrested, yet he would be glad to try again if Barie were willing to take the risk.

Barie and Christina had no doubt.

With God on their side what can go wrong?


Soon after the couple moved to Saudi the first secret shipments containing books from ICI and tapes from pastor Betzer arrived.

Also, there were many small packages, which they had to bring from Riyadh to Al Khobar, which was not an easy thing.

They had to drive with their ten year old Buick four hundred and twenty kilometers through the desert in temperatures exceeding 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Many a weekend they had to go through sandstorms so strong that the paint of their car was sand blasted to the metal. They had to face road blocks and their old car broke down very often in the middle of the desert under the blazing hot sun.

There was no way they could have completed these tasks without the constant strength coming from the Holy Spirit. It became clear to all involved that God wanted ICI in Saudi Arabia. Often Barie was invited to preach at the clandestine services at the US Embassy. While there, he hoped to find someone to help establish an ICI center in Riyadh. To his regret, there was no one who dared to accept this responsibility. So, after all the necessary ICI books had arrived God closed the doors for any other shipment of Christian books.

At the moment, Barie’s hopes to establish an ICI center in Riyadh bore no fruit and so regretfully he desisted and only concentrated on the area where they lived along the Persian/Arabian Gulf Coast. For the security of the mission, Barie and Christina forfeited the amenities of a luxurious compound because these gated compounds also had security guards who would scrutinize all who came to visit. These gated communities are where most other westerners lived.

So, they choose an easily accessible apartment building on a major boulevard with public transposition in the city of Al-Khobar. Their priority was to serve the Lord with little worldly distractions. The result was that they did had not once have an adverse incident with the local authorities. The presence of the Holy Spirit was undeniable.


As Barie, all of the ICI students were tentmakers invited by the Lord to lead a group without little prior biblical training. They were people from many different nations, religions, vocations, cultures, social and educational levels. God had given Barie an extremely versatile ministry. One well suited to his urban, cosmopolitan education and background. He was appointed by the department of chaplaincy the official Assemblies of God Contact Pastor to the US military in Saudi Arabia. Barie preached, advised and counseled pastors besides giving bible studies, planting churches, conducting seminaries. Barie specially trained and prepared a whole group of Pakistani families for their future task to serve Jesus Christ after their emigration to Canada. Once there they knew they would join the Christian organization PEBLO. This group specialized in bringing the gospel to emigrated Moslems from Pakistan and Hindus from India.

In 1993, after Barie founded a chapter of the American Institute of Architects he was invited to be the A.I.A. International division’s first keynote speaker at its first convention in 1996 in Paris’ Pompidou Center. Along with his affiliations and publications with American Business Men‘s groups in Jeddah, Eastern Province and Riyadh Barie was able to serve as a victorious ambassador for the Lord’s work even to the US embassy’s ambassador, US consulate and Saudi Arabian Royal family.

Barie and Christina also traveled to preach and teach in the Philippines, and conducted seminars in India and Leipzig. In the meantime, they produced yearly mission reports using cutouts form Saudi English language newspapers, which openly described the Saudis’ plans to evangelize and convert America and the rest of the world. These have never been widely published but individually handed to the presbyter board of directors of the Assemblies of God, Gospel Crusade and to the pastors at whose churches they itinerated in the U.S.A. Also, during this time, Barie created a book of his pen and drawings about the wars and tribulations called the Pastor’s Sketchbook, “The Look of the End Times” which they printed at Office Max and distributed to congregations when itinerating in U.S.A.

When Barie’s five year contract with King Faisel University ended, he hoped to return to Florida, but God was not finished with their mission because they had no replacement pastor for ICI and no one was able to continue their work and they had to stay.

However, the Saudi Arab government forbids anyone, including Barie to exchange a government igama for a commercial igama to go from teaching to consulting.

Only with the help of the Lord, the great encouragement of pastor Betzer and the prayer of his congregation could Barie face the paperwork and corruption he had to overcome in order to continue to stay in Saudi. God did chose Barie to be a tentmaker for an underground mission. That meant he had to support all necessary expenses with his own salary. God made it possible and Barie and Christina did it joyfully. Yet some times during the years when Barie needed spiritual or tangible support pastor Betzer and his congregation and his “Christina Fellowship " in Florida reached out and truly helped and, together with the Holy Spirit, problems became  mere tasks.

Barie had met a young AG pastor on his very last trip to the Philippines who announced that he was called by God’s grace to work in Barie’s mission. Also, a pastor from South Africa had already been sent several months prior to lead the ICI section in Riyadh. Barie and Christina were grateful to the Holy Spirit to provide these two people to continue the Lord’s work.

Now after almost twenty years, God brought Barie and Christina to again plant and sow in His U.S.A. mission field.


You find out more about Barie and Christina by looking at their website




Currently, Barie Fez-Barringten is writing articles and speaking on architecture, urbanism and Saudi Arabia, and has recently published two books: Gibe and Legend. Barie Fez-Barringten is often invited to present his inspiring life story to students in public schools, colleges and universities. In 2008, he was a Design Manager for Barwa City in Qatar and spent twenty years as an architect, business manager and project manager in Saudi Arabia, including teaching for five years at King Faisal University. As a Professor at KFU, he wrote manymonographs on metaphors and architecture which were widely published in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, England, America, Finland and Lebanon. Books may be ordered  at and/or Cambridge Scholars Publishing Ltd is registered in England. Companies House Reg.Before going to Arabian Gulf Barie was Director of Special Projects for the Gulf Oil corporation and professor at Texas A&M Universtiy in College Station Texas

 Lecture: >



Barie Fez-Barringten is an   Architect with over twenty years recent experience in Saudi Arabia and Qatar  with additional comprehensive professional experience in the USA  including 15 years in Project Management, 7 in Administration, 2 in marketing, 7 in teaching, six and a half years working for the Lee County Building Department/Community Development;  and over 15  years in Design and planning, for corporate iconic high rise & land development mega projects in the U.S.A., Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Puerto Rico with top fortune 500 companies, world class A&E companies and major investors and business owners.

Barie Fez-barringten has  managed , coordinated and administered all project works from initial feasibility and programming through design , construction and start up occupancy of site selection, site , civil utility ,roads , building , foundation and all electrical , HVA/C and architectural and interior furniture and furnishings.


In addition to years of successful project management, since the late sixties in New York City, Puerto Rico and Saudi Arabia, Barie Fez-Barringten has designed, managed and taught both traditional and green sustainable design, conservation, including smart growth and sustainable urban design. Many of his  building programs, plans, projects designs, and lectures have exercised the different techniques to reduce the energy needs of buildings and increase their ability to capture or generate their own energy being energy efficient over their entire life cycles.


Barie Fez-Barringten is a Florida Registered Architect with membership in the American Institute of Architects (A.I.A.) and certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (N.C.A.R.B) ; formerly licensed by New York, Tennessee, Puerto Rico, Texas, and Iowa; former architect-of-record in New York; Tennessee; Texas; Florida, and Saudi Arabia. Former educational Chairman of the Houston Chapter of the Project Management Institute (P.M.I.), author of book on Project Management published by John Wiley and sons and taught Project Management in Texas A&M University and King Faisal University.

Barie Fez-Barringten subscribes and lectures on the charter of the New Urbanist and the Global Sustainable Development Resolution.












Barie Fez-Barringten  was born & raised in New York City where he attended Columbia University; Pratt Institute for a bachelors of arts and Yale University in New Haven for a masters of architecture. Barie Fez-Barringten also has many class credits approved by the U.S. Green Building Council.






Recent Professional Highlights:

  • Vanir CM Inc. SDC Global Doha, Qatar Design Manager on Barwa city
  • Real Estate Development Mega Projects In Lee County Florida: many over a period of eight years; roads, utilities, landscape, center, clubhouse, commercial centers, single family housing, high and low rise, programming, planning, design, government approvals, final design, bidding, construction marketing and sales.
  • Lee County Government as Residential Plans Examiner: Retired after over six year’s continuous employment from January 2000 until July 2006: Building codes, hurricane, FEMA, flooding, etc.
  • Lee County: Frizzell; Collins and Dupont; and Ralph Taylor
  • Edison Community College: Instructor of Interior Design
  • Hodges University: Urban Architecture
  • People's Protective: Director of Architecture: four major second home real estate development projects in Tennessee, Belise and Arkansas.
  • Gulf Oil Real Estate Development Company involved in RESTON Virginia and several other landmark new town projects as: Manager of Special Projects
  • Texas A&M University Associate Professor  
  • King Faisel University: Associate Professor
  • Saudi Arabia Employment; ARAMCO; UPM; El-Seif, Al-Suhaimi, CDE, Al-Muhaidib; Saudi Fisheries,
  • Al-Foadia, International Associates, Arieb, Saudi Projacs and FE Basil
  • Private Practice


Memberships (partial) :

  • AIA member since 1971
  • Founder of AIA chapter in Saudi Arabia (AG/ME).President from 1992 to 1999.
  • former Real Estate Investment Society:Lee County
  • Building Officials Association of Florida member
  • Trustee of the Yale Club of SW Florida
  • Member of Lee County Commissioner’s Hispanic Affairs Advisory Board
  • Founding member of the North Fort Myers Civic Association
  • Former Texas Real Estate Broker; arbitrator; professional and educator member and Chairman of the Project Management Institute and
  • National Association of Corporate Real Estate Executives.(NCARB)
  • Former member of the Houston Board of Realtors and Texas Real Estate Broker.
  • Former member of Saudi Arabia Engineering Society and founding member of the first Saudi Arabia Architect’s association.
  • Founder of a New York not-for-profit association called Laboratories for Metaphoric Environments (LME)  to research, promote, and provide interdisciplinary means of green design, ecology and sustainability in planning and building.
  • Member of the UAE American business association, Arabian Yale Alumni Association, Saudi Chamber of commerce and American Business Men’s Group in Riyadh and Eastern Province.
  • Former programming Chairperson for the Gulf Coast Writers Association



Accomplishments (partial) :

  • Business  and operations planning for major mid  east trading and professional conglomerates and individual practices in Saudi Arabia for such companies as El-Seif, Al-Foadia, Al-Muhaidib, Al-Suhaimi,and CDE .
  • Policies and procedures for all Gulf Oil Corporation’s Civil and architectural construction activities later published by John Wiley and sons.
  • Architecture the Making of Metaphors Yale University lecture series and published in many national and international learned journals.
  • Pollution Architecture” published by Progressive Architecture, Air, land and water pollution systems studies for New York City EPA, teaches Victor Olgay’s Climatology and Bioclimatic Design at Pratt Institute, co-founder of International Earth Day .and assist Serge Chermayoff in his Campus Planning study featuring complementarities analysis for the U.S. GSA.
  • Found and preside over American Institute of Architects (AIG/ME) chapter in Saudi Arabia.
  • Write project manuals, uniform building codes and architectural standards for government agencies in Saudi Arabia
  • Architect of Record for buildings in New York, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, Texas, Connecticut, Tennessee and Saudi Arabia (ARAMCO office bldg/Dhahran Academy/SAJAPHCO factory/plus.
  • Travel extensively to over seventy cities in Europe authoring a book of narrated pen and Ink sketches of each city.
  • Reviewing documents in various phases for design intent, use of materials and coordination with Master Plan intent; coordinating with consultants, contractors, and regulatory agencies as necessary in meetings, drawings and other forms of communication; analysis of building/zoning Code and Design and applying to reviewed designs; liaise with governmental agencies or officials for purpose of approvals and permits; conduct on-site observations and compliance checks on previously reviewed design work; and, attendance at client meetings and presentation material.
  • From 1980 till 1996, Barie Fez-Barringten  was a Texas Real Estate Broker, Realtor and member of the National Association of Corporate Real Estate Executives (NACORE).Barie Fez-Barringten  was Manager of Special Projects for the Gulf Oil Real Estate Development Company (GOREDCO) and from 2006 to 2006 was employment by the Department of Development Services of Lee County Florida reviewing major development orders and examine plans for building permits. He practiced real estate brokerage part time in Texas for both commercial and residential properties and was involved with major projects such as Barwa, RESTON, Housatanic Horizons and many others.He taught courses in Real Estate Project Development at the University of Houston and Texas A&M University. One of his biggest development projects was 11 developments for the Internal Security Forces of the Ministry of Interior under Prince Naif in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


High Rise experience (partial)  includes;

  • Bank buildings in Manhattan: Citi-corp. and Irving Trust
  • Apartment building in WashingtonDC, New York and Connecticut
  • Corporate Office building in Puerto Rico: (ElMundoTowers)
  • Tower offices for SUNY in Albany
  • Gulf Oil Corporation headquarters in Houston, Midland and OdessaTexas
  • Telephone Company Buildings in Manhattan
  • CBS building in Manhattan
  • ARAMCO headquarters building in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia


Grade Percentage GPA (grade point average) Value

Average NYSID, Columbia, Pratt, Yale, and Texas A&M University


A 100 – 90:  4.0








Professor Fez-Barringtetn welcomes inviations to speak to your class, student body, club, and organization. 






Birth Place
New York, NY USA

Received Masters of Architecture from Yale University's School of Architecture and is currently a USA Licensed Architect in the State of Florida while being qualified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Board (N.C.A.R.B.) for license in all other U.S.A. States since 1970 (39 years). From 1981 to 1994 was a Texas Real Estate Broker and was Houston Chapter's Project Management Institute's Academic Chairman. With 4551 total teaching hours for 111 credits in 41 semesters began teaching part time in 1970 for Pratt Institute. Received Bachelor's Degree in Interior Architecture and appointed Associate Professor teaching full time in graduate and undergraduate programs for Texas A & M University in College Station Texas. In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia since August 1981 serving as consultant to ARAMCO, various other ministries and private companies including one summer semester of teaching at King Fahd's University of Petroleum and Minerals. (K.F.U.P.M.) An A.I.A. Member since 1971, founding president emeritus of "Architect's International Group" of the mid-east (A.I.G./M.E.) petitioning the American Institute of Architects (A.I.A.) in Washington to become chartered to serve its' members in the Gulf and especially in Saudi Arabia. Publications in learned Journals (refereed) include "Main Currents in Modern Thought" and Beirut Arab University's Scientific Journal; and England's "Open House". Several books include Project Management (contract to publish by John Wiley and Sons, N.Y.C.), architecture and metaphors. Fine art pen and ink drawings in U.S.A. collections by private connoisseurs and art galleries. Currently hold invitation to guest lecture and visit at Riyadh's "Al-Umran", Turkey's "Istanbul Technical University", Germany's "Bauhaus"; Leipzig University, Halle's "Burg Giebichenstein; Sarasota, Florida's (U.S.A.) "Ringling School of Design." Published in "WHO's WHO in the South" (U.S.A.) since 1974. A former member of the KFU Technical Committee for the New KFU Campus Plan carried out by Paris' O.T.H. International with Jeddah IDEA Center. Major Architectural and Interior Design Projects include hospitals housing, high-rise office and residential towers, hotels, university campus plan, computer centers, laboratories, new towns and planned unit developments, shopping centers and malls; and, many very small individual projects including residences, police stations, factories, shops, schools, terminals etc. Recently was Design Manger for Barwa City in Doha,Qatar.
Academically, involved in research about architecture as the making of metaphors , and formerly taught full time. At KFU has taught "Project Procedures", Contract Documents, Professional Practice, Cost Management, Research and Programming and various upper level Design Studios. Qualified by Texas A & M University, Pratt Institute and University of Houston to teach and conduct graduate programs including instruction, seminars and thesis. Completed teaching graduate courses include Tropical Architecture (Climatology and Bio-climatic design) Project Management, Legal Aspects, Design Thesis and Graduate Interior Design.'>">

Additional Information

Barie Fez-Barringten professes architecture in two primary roles. As a former associate professor at King Faisal University in Dammam, and founding president of AIG/ME (Architects International Group of the Mid-East); a registered provider of American Institute of Architects Continuing Education in Saudi Arabia. Earlier in his career, he was on the faculties of King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals; Texas A & M University; University of Houston; University of Ohio and, Pratt Institute in New York City. His second role is practicing as an architectural professional where he has held architectural registrations in Puerto Rico, New York, Tennessee, Iowas, and Texas, and now in Florida. His projects include large university campuses; new towns; high schools; high-rise office, apartment, and hotel buildings; regional shopping centers; specialty computer and hospital buildings; and several large interior design projects. He has worked for such large multi-national companies as Gulf Oil Corporation and the Arabian American Oil Company in the role of Manager of Special Projects & Project Manager which provided him with the material to author a yet published book called "Project Manual Standards" (P.M.S.). He has held several important business positions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in marketing and business administration for contracting and trade businesses. In each he has written business and organization plans. His drawings have been exhibited in art galleries and collected by connoisseurs, while he himself has dedicated his professional life to first experience the metaphors he creates and professes. He therefore founded the Laboratories for Metaphoric Environments Inc., a New York not-for-profit corporation and now after many years of practice continues to write about metaphors in the places he has experienced most; U.S.A., Saudi Arabia, Over 72 European cities, Germany, India, South Africa, and the Philippines.'>">

Contact Information
American Institute of Architects
1011 La Paloma Blvd.
North Fort Myers FL 33903   USA
Contact Author: Barie Fez-Barringten
Favorite Links

My web site
Barie Fez- Barringten is an architect, philosopher, writer, artist, project manager and teacher. He is one of the world's foremost advocates of "Architecture as the Making of Metaphors". His work has been recognized around the world, particularly in the US and Saudi Arabia. According to Professor Fez-Barringten there is a 3-way symbiotic relationship that exists between the work of architecture, the architect and occupants that experiences that art within the controlled space of that environment. Using the concept of the metaphor, a synergy that can be easily observed when all three properly work together.

The Yale Club of Southwest Florida
Trustee, lecturer, member; received Masters of Architecture from Yale University's School of Architecture and is currently a USA Licensed Architect in the State of Florida while being qualified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Board (N.C.A.R.B.) for license in all other U.S.A. States since 1970 (30 years). From 1981 to 1994 held Texas Real Estate Brokers status and was Houston Chapter's Project Management Institute's Academic Chairman. With 4551 total teaching hours for 111 credits in 41 semesters began teaching part time in 1970 for Pratt Institute. Received Bachelor's Degree in Interior Architecture and appointed Associate Professor teaching full time in graduate and undergraduate programs for Texas A & M University in College Station Texas. In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia since August 1981 serving as consultant to ARAMCO, various other ministries and private companies including one summer semester of teaching at King Fahd's University of Petroleum and Minerals. (K.F.U.P.M.) An A.I.A. Member since 1971, founding president emeritus of "Architect's International Group" of the mid-east (A.I.G./M.E.) petitioning the American Institute of Architects (A.I.A.) in Washington to become chartered to serve its' members in the Gulf and especially in Saudi Arabia. Publications in learned Journals (refereed) include "Main Currents in Modern Thought" and Beirut Arab University's Scientific Journal; and England's "Open House". Several books include Project Management (contract to publish by John Wiley and Sons, N.Y.C.), architecture and metaphors. Fine art pen and ink drawings in U.S.A. collections by private connoisseurs and art galleries. Currently hold invitation to guest lecture and visit at Riyadh's "Al-Umran", Turkey's "Istanbul Technical University", Germany's "Bauhouse"; Leipzig University, Halle's "Burg Giebichenstein; Sarasota, Florida's (U.S.A.) "Ringling School of Design." Published in "WHO's WHO in the South" (U.S.A.) since 1974. A former member of the KFU Technical Committee for the New KFU Campus Plan being carried out by Paris' O.T.H. Int'l with Jeddah IDEA Center. Major Architectural and Interior Design Projects include hospitals housing, high-rise office and residential towers, hotels, university campus plan, computer centers, laboratories, new towns and planned unit developments, shopping centers and malls; and, many very small individual projects including residences, police stations, factories, shops, schools, terminals etc. Recently was Design Manger for Barwa City in Doha,'>">

Yale Arab Alumni Assocaiton
member researching from the USA on topics which may be of interest to Yale alumni in the Arabian Gulf region.

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