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.
  • Moving forward together (6/1/2022) - In this month's Joyful Journey, Bishop David Bard turns our focus toward matters engaging the "heart and soul problems" in the nation and the church ... I write this as I prepare for our annual conference gathering in Traverse City. I look forward to our being together for worship, learning, fellowship and business. I trust we will come with gracious spirits as well as our protective masks. With this blog, I simply want to update you on a few matters about which I have written much in the past days, weeks, and months: denominational news, our ongoing anti-bias/anti-racism work, and… ...Read More
  • For all we know (5/3/2022) - Bishop David Bard says that love is the way forward regardless of what we know or don't know about the future of The United Methodist Church ... Here we are on the cusp of May. Time seems to move quickly during May. There are the final days of school and graduations. Those with summer homes or cabins open them up. We get our yards ready for summer. Annual Conference arrives at the end of the month. Weddings begin in earnest in May and, if you attend or officiate a wedding, you may be very likely to hear the words of… ...Read More
  • One more, once! (4/5/2022) - Remembering Count Basie's jazz tune, Bishop David Bard reflects on the unpredictable April weather and the eternal promise of Easter ... April can be a strange month. My only canceled preaching engagement related to weather here in Michigan came on an April Sunday. The roads were icy that morning. Temperatures in April can dip well below freezing and soar into the seventies. Just when you think spring has arrived for good, chill winds blow, and snow falls. In April you want to keep your boots handy, but also want to know where your short-sleeved shirts are hanging. The origin of… ...Read More