Barney was born in Hillburn, New York in 1922 to Christian parents and received Christ at an early age. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II in several camps in the U.S, Philippines, and Japan. He graduated from King’s College in 1949 and moved to Alaska where he served in a children’s home in the village of Chignik. He joined InterAct (then called Alaska Missions) in 1953. In 1954 he and his wife Ruth were married and served together among the Native people of Alaska for many decades, ministering in Alaskan villages and Victory High School. Barney and Ruth retired in 2004, and the Lord called Ruth home in 2005. In 2017 Barney finished a major project, compiling information about the history of InterAct, spanning over sixty-five years.