Bishop David Alan Bard

Bishop David Alan Bard is the presiding bishop of the Michigan Conference of The United Methodist Church.  Bishop Bard also shepherds the Minnesota Annual Conference as interim bishop until 2022, and serves as President of the North Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops.

Prior to arriving in Michigan in September 2016, Bishop Bard was serving at First United Methodist Church in Duluth, Minnesota since 2005. He was elected to the episcopacy on July 13, 2016 at the North Central Jurisdictional Conference held in Peoria, IL. He has been in ministry for more than 30 years and served in many roles within both the Minnesota Annual Conference and the General Church.

Bishop Bard was a General and Jurisdictional Conference delegate in 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012. He was an episcopal nominee in both 2004 and 2008.

Within the Minnesota Conference, Bishop Bard was chair of the Episcopacy Committee and the Higher Education Ministry Team, and he served on the Board of Ordained Ministry and the Congregational Response Team. He was also the conference parliamentarian. He was a district superintendent from 1998 to 2005 and spent three years on the Commission on Religion and Race.

Within the General Church, Bishop Bard serves on the Study on Ministry Commission, the Committee on Faith and Order, and the North Central Jurisdiction Committee on Episcopacy. He has also previously served on the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, the Commission on General Conference, and the Commission on Theological Education.

Bishop Bard received a BA from the University of Minnesota, Duluth in 1981; his Master of Divinity was earned at United Theological Seminary, Twin Cities 1984; and in 1994 he received a Ph.D. from Southern Methodist University with a focus on Christian ethics

Bishop Bard has a wife, Julie, and three adult children. In his free time, he enjoys music, reading, baseball, and walking outside.


David and Julie Bard have three children: (L to R) daughter Beth with husband Michael, son David with wife Kristina, Bishop David, daughter Sarah with husband and Julie Bard.
David and Julie Bard have three children: (L to R) daughter Beth Bard-Henke with husband Michael; son David Bard with wife Cristina Diaz; Bishop David, daughter Sarah Bard with husband Aaron White and Julie Bard.
  • Thoughts on the 4th of July (7/5/2021) - In this month's Joyful Journey, Bishop David Bard talks about being a citizen of America. He says, "Even as we celebrate the United States ... We need to see where we have fallen short of our highest ideals."  ... Every year my birthday falls ten days before the celebration of the United States of America on Independence Day, July 4. I am a proud citizen of The United States, this country into which I was born. I celebrate the many accomplishments of our nation, celebrate the way it has been a place of hope and opportunity for many, celebrate the… ...Read More
  • Joyful journey to annual conference (5/24/2021) - Bishop David Bard has not missed an annual conference session since 1984. He believes that conference can be a means of grace, whether sessions are held in-person or online ... Let me confess to you that I really miss not being together in person for annual conference. I miss the handshakes and the hugs. I miss not being asked for a picture. I miss preaching to a gathered group of people. I miss laughing with you, singing with you, praying with you, and even helping us work through tough issues together. I am exhausted when it is all over, but… ...Read More
  • Faith to hang on and keep going (5/3/2021) - In this month's Joyful Journey, Bishop David Bard shares about a squirrel hanging onto a branch in the wind. It reminds him how faith and trust in Christ hold us together. ... I have a wonderful office here in the Lansing area, and I have used it much less frequently this past year-plus. It is a very nice office but without much of a view. Out the east window, I see a business building. I hope the business is doing well, but the building is no architectural beauty. Looking out my north window, I see a wooded area. Mostly scrub… ...Read More