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 journey in ashes (3/5/2019)- "I invite you, on the heels of General Conference, to observe a holy Lent," says Michigan Bishop David Bard. His counsel, "slow down and dig deep" in this uncertain time ...  If you are taking time to read this, you may be expecting another word about the recently completed special session of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church. Though General Conference will certainly not be absent from this essay, it will serve more as background than foreground. My previous letter containing initial reflections on General Conference has been shared, and thank you for sharing it with others. I… ...Read More
  • A Joyful Journey (2/4/2019)- In this month's blog, The Joyful Journey, Bishop David A. Bard remembers a Grammy-winning song and views the 2019 General Conference as a tapestry rich in the love of God … One of the pleasures Julie and I discovered when we moved to Michigan and the Lansing area were the Broadway productions at the Wharton Theater. While we have not been frequent attendees, we have had the pleasure of watching a few shows. One we enjoyed a lot was “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.” Carole King and her first husband, Gerry Goffin, wrote many charted hits together, music performed and… ...Read More
  • New Year’s message from Bishop Bard (1/12/2019)- With the 2019 General Conference now just six weeks away, Bishop David Bard offers The Michigan Area hope-filled New Year's greetings and counsel ... Sisters and Brothers in Christ in the Michigan United Methodist Church, As 2018 came to a close, many of us watched portions of the funeral services for former president George H. W. Bush and some of the news specials about his life and career. Along the way, we encountered an acronym: CAVU – clearance, and visibility unlimited. It was something President Bush learned as a Navy pilot during World War II. I imagine CAVU was a… ...Read More