Bishop David Alan Bard

Bishop David Alan Bard is the presiding bishop of the Michigan Conference of The United Methodist Church.  Bishop Bard also served the Minnesota Annual Conference as interim bishop 2021-2022.

Before arriving in Michigan in September 2016, Bishop Bard had served 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 in Peoria, IL. He has been in ministry for more than 30 years and served in many roles within 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 was recently elected chairperson of the Committee on Faith and Order. He has served on the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, the Commission on General Conference, the Commission on Theological Education, the Study on Ministry Commission, and the North Central Jurisdiction Committee on the Episcopacy.

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, in 1984; and in 1994, he received a Ph.D. from Southern Methodist University focusing on Christian ethics.  He has taught college and seminary courses in United Methodist history, doctrine and polity; medical ethics, and religious perspectives on death and dying.

Bishop Bard has a wife, Julie, three adult children, and two grandchildren. He enjoys music, reading, movies, baseball, and walking in his free time.

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The Bard Family
The Bard Family
  • God’s work reviving us (9/6/2023) - Bishop David Alan Bard asks us to rally to the task set before us, making disciples of Jesus Christ so that lives — and the world — can be different... Growing up, my family was not extensively involved in our local church. My dad was raised Roman Catholic and did not attend church as an adult. My mom wanted my sister, my brother, and me to go to church, and we went with some frequency but had little involvement until I was older. I never heard the term “Rally Sunday” until I was a seminarian. You won’t find Rally Sunday… ...Read More
  • A community of kindness (8/3/2023) - Bishop David Alan Bard expresses gratitude for the Christlike kindness he and his family have received following his mother’s death... Since my last blog, my family and I have experienced one of those significant events that stays with you forever: a parent’s death. As many of you are already aware, my mother died on July 19 after a long struggle with both cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Her death was both anticipated and unexpected. Given her condition, we knew her time was limited. Yet her end came quickly. She went into the emergency room on Saturday, was admitted to hospice on… ...Read More
  • Honest love of country (7/5/2023) - Bishop David Alan Bard challenges us to see our nation and its history with honest eyes, not only celebrating the things we love but working together to change it for the better... I write this on the cusp of the July 4 national holiday. Independence Day has been celebrated in some fashion since 1776. Congress made it an unpaid federal holiday in 1870, and then it became a recognized paid federal holiday in 1938. No matter that the history is a little convoluted, I appreciate having the annual opportunity to celebrate this nation. There is much I love about the… ...Read More
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