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.

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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.


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 fiance Aaron White and Julie Bard.
  • A song for a crazy world (11/4/2019) - Admitting that the times we live in can be terrifying, Bishop David Bard turns to a song and a poem to wish The Michigan Area a blessed Thanksgiving... It is not much of a secret that I enjoy music. I remember when I was in my early teens tuning in on my transistor radio on New Year's day to listen to the top 100 songs for the previous year. I recall buying my first Bob Dylan albums, Greatest Hits Volumes I and II, curious because a community Christian youth group used some of his songs when we sang together. I… ...Read More
  • The Joyful Journey continues (9/30/2019) - Bishop David Bard brings some aspirational actions taken by the 2019 Michigan Annual Conference into clearer focus, as the journey toward the 2020 UMC General Conference continues to move forward ... Emails and letters I’ve received in recent weeks, along with observations made to me by district superintendents, lead me to think that some of the actions of the 2019 Michigan Annual Conference need clarifying.  There is confusion. Has the Michigan Conference broken away from the larger United Methodist Church? Have we said that we will not live by the rules approved at the special called session of the General… ...Read More
  • Surf’s up (9/2/2019) - Reflecting on scripture and a classic rock song, Bishop David Bard invites everyone into God's creative work in the world and in the church ... What I did this summer. In June our daughter Sarah was married. I wrote a bit about that last month. I thoroughly enjoyed teaching The Gospel of Mark at the United Methodist Women Mission U. Thank you to all who were part of these classes. In one somewhat crazy 48 hours Julie and I met our daughter Beth in New York to attend a couple of Broadway plays. Julie and I were delighted that we… ...Read More
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