Bishop David Alan Bard
Bishop David Alan Bard is the presiding bishop of the Michigan Area. 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.
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, 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, 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
Bard has a wife, Julie, and three adult children. In his free time, he enjoys music, reading, baseball, and walking outside.
- Holding it together (3/1/2021) - In this month's Joyful Journey, Bishop Bard considers what scripture, poets, and everyday experience reveal about the challenges of holding it together ... “A threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12) These words celebrate the power of friendship and relationships in life. Two together create a third, strong entity that can withstand stress and strain. It is an image of holding it together. According to an online dictionary, to hold it together means “to remain calm, composed and ready to do what is necessary, especially in the face of adversity or crisis.” Perhaps you’ve been counseled, in the face… ...Read More
- The way of love (2/1/2021) - Lent is a time to focus on spiritual disciplines. Bishop David Bard calls Michigan United Methodists to intentional focus on the discipline of love through patience, kindness, thoughtfulness, and humility... For a brief month, there is a lot that happens in February. President’s Day is February 15. The day prior, February 14, is Valentine’s Day. February is Black History Month. This year, as in so many, Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on February 17. The church season of Lent “began as a period of fasting and preparation for baptism by converts and then became a time for penance by all… ...Read More
- Maturity of mind and heart (1/5/2021) - How do we grow in Christian maturity? Bishop David Bard notes that growth is difficult in the social media age. He encourages intellectual curiosity, complex thinking, and a generous spirit ... It was August 1998. I was appointed as a district superintendent in the Minnesota Conference and attended the training for new superintendents at Lake Junaluska Assembly Grounds in North Carolina. During my personal devotion time, this verse leaped off the page: “For this, I toil and struggle with all the energy that God in Christ powerfully inspires within me.” (Colossians 1: 29) I was grateful for the language as… ...Read More