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.

[expand title="Read More" swaptitle="Read Less"]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.
  • Fear, faith, and Easter (3/30/2020) - Coronavirus has impacted us all. Bishop David Bard explores the nature of fear and the human response to it. He concludes, "So, maybe Easter is about both fear and joy."... There was a moment a few days ago, a powerful moment when an overwhelming feeling flooded through me. I felt I was having a dream, a deeply unpleasant dream, about a contagious virus sweeping our country, creating a situation in which we needed to confine ourselves to our homes as much as possible. It was that moment in the dream when you know you are dreaming and are just about… ...Read More
  • Ash Wednesday is so contemporary (3/4/2020) - “We are both dust and stardust.” Bishop David Bard cites coronavirus and stresses in The United Methodist Church as examples of why we mortals need an observance like Ash Wednesday ... We have arrived once again at the season of Lent, the 40 days, not including Sundays (each Sunday is meant to be a “little Easter”) leading up to Easter Sunday. In the Christian tradition, the season begins with Ash Wednesday worship. That worship includes the imposition of ashes on forehead or hand, typically with the words, “you are dust, and to dust, you shall return.” Admittedly, this is not… ...Read More
  • Interesting times (2/5/2020) - Interesting times call for out of the ordinary actions. Bishop David Bard recalls a conference speaker's words about a "liminal season," as he explains the reasons for a special annual conference session ... In a speech given in South Africa in 1966, Senator Robert Kennedy noted that there was a Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times.” There may or may not be such a curse in the Chinese tradition, but the story continues to circulate. We live in interesting times, and it can feel a bit like a curse sometimes. Church consultant Susan Beaumont, our keynote speaker at… ...Read More
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