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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 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
  • Learning and then loving rightly (2/6/2024) - Reflecting on Black History Month, Bishop David Bard encourages us to do our part in cultivating hearts and souls that love more deeply and intelligently... It seems as if we just turned the calendar to a new year, and the first month of that new year has already passed. January is always a busy month. Projects that slow for the holidays pick up speed again. Appointment-making for the coming year begins. The North Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops meets. As January becomes February, we enter Black History Month, and on the fourteenth, we have Valentine’s Day. Black History Month is… ...Read More
  • Making all things new (1/9/2024) - Bishop David Bard asks how we might see this new year as an opportunity to focus forward and to reaffirm that God is working to make all things new... Looking back over last year, I’ll admit it was difficult and challenging in many ways. War dragged on in Ukraine. The brutal Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, involving rape, killing, and kidnapping, led to a massive Israeli response that has taken thousands of Palestinian lives and created a humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Gun violence continues to exact a terrible toll in this country, and as the year ended, we… ...Read More
  • Kindness matters this Christmas (12/5/2023) - In this season of love, Bishop David Bard invites us to let the Holy Spirit enlarge our hearts so they stay a little bigger and kinder... It has now happened twice in the past couple of months. I don’t wear a clerical collar often, but sometimes the occasion calls for it. In the first instance, I helped preside at communion and celebrated a significant ministry at one of our Michigan United Methodist churches. I wore my clerical collar, and I stopped to fill my car with gas while driving home. A woman approached me as I was getting into my… ...Read More
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