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.
  • Walking in rhythm in 2022 (1/3/2022) - Though 2022 is not starting as the "new new year we were hoping for," Bishop David Bard encourages Michigan United Methodists to "keep moving" in the direction of God's grace ... Let's face it, 2022 was not the new new year we were hoping for. The sermon I prepared for the Minnesota Conference for January 2, or later, is entitled, "Can We Have a New New Year?" Among other disappointments is the tenacious persistence of the coronavirus, which had an impact once again on our Christmas celebrations. The pandemic looks to be with us well into the new year with… ...Read More
  • Always now and not yet (12/1/2021) - Bishop David Bard reminds us that Christmas light, grace, hope, joy, peace, and love will soon arrive into the world and break through all that might get in the way. ... As November moves toward December, I planned to write an essay filled with Christmas music and good cheer, an essay evoking the sights, sounds, and smells of this special time of year. I would have included the aroma of breads, pies, turkey; the sounds of holiday parades and familiar seasonal music; the appearance of decorated trees, lighted houses, and streets, heartwarming movies like “It’s a Wonderful Life” or “The… ...Read More
  • God’s grace is ‘a second wind’ (11/1/2021) - Bishop David Bard reflects on Paul's words to the Thessalonians, "Rejoice always." He notes, "much of the time, that's much harder than we think." ... BISHOP DAVID BARD Michigan Area United Methodist Church November arrives so quickly. ZOOM is not only an online meeting platform, it is our experience of time in September and October. Suddenly it is November – zoom! In the upper Midwest, fall often becomes winter in November. In November we are invited to make time to be thankful. As followers of Jesus, we do not require a national proclamation to encourage thankfulness. Long before there was… ...Read More