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.
  • The many masks we wear (10/4/2021) - We put masks on. We take masks off. Both actions are important says Bishops David Bard as he considers the pandemic, division in The United Methodist Church, and uncovering events in our history ... October. Cool breezes and brightly colored leaves. High School football on Friday nights and college football on Saturdays. Perhaps our first flakes of snow. The month ending in Halloween. When I was in elementary school I remember going to school in costumes, with a costume parade for parents. In the evening we walked the neighborhood collecting treats just by going house to house and asking. Costumes… ...Read More
  • Were you made for times like this? (9/1/2021) - Bishop David Bard reflects on this season of life and ministry and says nuanced thinking and tragic optimism are needed during a time of grief, trauma, and challenge ... It has been a hot summer. According to weather data, July 2021 is the hottest July on record. Michigan has often been hot and humid, but more on the high range of normal. We have experienced some significant rains and are dealing with flooding, particularly in Wayne and Washtenaw Counties. Minnesota has been hot, and many areas of the state are experiencing significant drought. Fires burning near and within the Boundary… ...Read More
  • Come, let us reason together (8/3/2021) - Racism, division in the denomination, mission, vision, and inclusion are areas around which congregations can reason together says Bishop David Bard in this month's Joyful Journey ... “Come now, let us reason together.” Ever heard that phrase? It seems an invitation to a conversation. But, in its original context, the first chapter of Isaiah (as translated in the King James Version), really isn’t an invitation to reasoned conversation. The voice of God is addressing the Israelite people, and the context is like a courtroom. God, being God, all the evidence is weighted in the Lord’s favor. Come now, let us… ...Read More