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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.

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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.
  • Heart work, soul work, community work (2/1/2023) - In this month’s Joyful Journey, Bishop David Alan Bard reminds us that the gospel is about heart change, which is an important part of tackling issues like racism and violence in our society... February is Black History Month, and as we begin, we are mourning the death of another Black man killed interacting with law enforcement. We grieve the death of Tyre Nichols in Memphis and are appalled by his treatment by Memphis police officers, all of whom have been criminally charged now. The potential influence of race in this situation is complicated by the fact that all the officers were also… ...Read More
  • Foster a dialogic culture (1/18/2023) - In this month’s Joyful Journey, Bishop David Alan Bard asks us to dedicate ourselves to creating a spacious church with a dialogic culture where conversations are respectful, rich, and deep... We are beginning a new year, and I am starting the next part of my journey with you as your bishop. My temporary assignment as bishop of the Minnesota Conference has ended, though Julie and I will still return to Minnesota to visit family. My assignment to Michigan is now set until 2024. Through the coming months, we will continue to navigate turbulent waters as our denomination works through disaffiliation… ...Read More
  • Prepare our hearts for Jesus (12/7/2022) - In this Advent edition of Joyful Journey, Bishop David Bard encourages us to open our hearts, our lives, and our communities so Jesus can show up in us and through us to touch the world...  Friends, we are again entering the Christian season of Advent, the time of preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus at Christmas. The word “advent” means “arrival,” “appearance,” or “coming.” Traditional Advent hymns are about anticipation, such as “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” or “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus.” As Christians, our preparations are to be about more than making gift lists, decorating, or… ...Read More
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