Barney Fife impersonator to bring Christian message to Baptist car show
“Everybody has a little Barney inside themselves.”
A Barney Fife impersonator, but in real life Sammy Sawyer is a native of east Tennessee and for the past several years has made appearances impersonating Barney Fife in several states from coast to coast and in a variety of venues. He will be present at this weekend’s 12th Annual Troy First Baptist Church Car Show. The show will be held Aug. 31 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with registration from 8 a.m.-noon. There will be a car cruise in the afternoon and plans are to include going over the roundabouts at the South Lincoln Drive interchange in Troy.
Sawyer has made numerous appearances as a Barney Fife impersonator along with a list of other voices and characters that he enjoys doing as well.
Sammy Sawyer doesn’t have a bullet in his shirt pocket. But as soon as Sammy Sawyer smiles, he is Barney Fife come to life. He says people tell him that all the time.
What started out as a comedy act in the family living room after supper is now Sawyer’s second career. He entertains for civic, social and church groups with his Barney Fife take-off.
Several times a month, he dresses in his Barney Fife uniform, packs his empty pistol, puts the bullet in his shirt pocket, takes a bite or two out of a big Moon Pie and tunes up his voice to the “Annn-deeee!” pitch that won Knotts five Emmy Awards in the 1960s.
His most frequent appearances are before church groups. He opens with his ‘Barney’ routine and then talks about the Bible. He uses his Barney persona to put audiences at ease, and then uses the opportunity to talk about how Christ has been so important in his own, off-stage, personal life. He calls his show “Barney and the Bible.
“I have a passion for Christ and love to share the gospel,” he said.
Sawyer can imitate other characters from Mayberry, most notably Gomer Pyle.
He met with Knotts in person on three occasions.Sawyer is dedicated to his Barney ministry.