Bishop David Alan Bard was elected to the episcopacy in 2016 and assigned to the Michigan Area of The United Methodist Church, where he currently serves as the resident bishop. Prior to his election, Bishop Bard was a member of the Minnesota Conference where he served for over thirty years as a pastor and District Superintendent. His final appointment in Minnesota was as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Duluth, the community in which he grew up. During his ministry, Bishop Bard served on a number of conference and denomination-wide committees and agencies. He was elected to represent Minnesota at five General and Jurisdictional Conferences (2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016). He is the only member of the Minnesota Conference to be elected to the episcopacy since the formation of The United Methodist Church in 1968. He currently serves as president of the NCJ College of Bishops.
Bishop Bard is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, Duluth (B.A. cum laude, philosophy and psychology), United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities (M.Div.), and has a Ph.D. in Religious Studies, with a focus on Christian Ethics, from Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX). He has taught courses as an adjunct faculty member at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth and United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. He has also served on a number of ecumenical and community boards and agencies including the Minnesota Council of Churches, Board of Directors of Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank, Board of Directors of Life House, an outreach program for homeless youth, and the St. Louis County Heading Home Governance Board.
Bishop Bard married his wife Julie, also from Duluth, in 1982. Julie is a long-time educator currently teaching first grade in the Waverly School District. Bishop Bard and Julie have three children: David L. who works in the public sector and is married to Cristina, lives in St. Paul, MN; Elizabeth, an OB/GYN physician in Minneapolis who is married to Michael; and Sarah who lives in Andover, MN is a physical therapist and married to Aaron.
In his first sermon as bishop, Bishop Bard said that he wanted his time here in Michigan to be marked by joy, wisdom, love, and hope. He is delighted to be working with Michigan United Methodists to make disciples of Jesus Christ so that the world may be transformed. When he is not working, Bishop Bard enjoys walking, reading, movies, music, and just spending time with family.