Bishop David Bard
Bishop Bard will serve the Michigan Area
Bishop David Bard, who had been serving as senior pastor of First United Methodist Church in Duluth, Minnesota since 2005 when he was elected to the Episcopacy, has been in ministry for more than 30 years.
He was chairperson of the delegation to General/Jurisdictional Conferences in 2016, and also served as a delegation member in 2012, 2008, 2004, and 2000.
Prior to being elected bishop, Bard was chair of the Minnesota Conference Episcopacy Committee, and was the conference parliamentarian. He also served on the Higher Education Ministry team, the Board of Ordained Ministry, and the Congregational Response team, spent three years on the Commission on Religion and Race, and seven years as a district superintendent.
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’s leadership in the local church has resulted in growth for his congregation. Membership at First UMC increased by more than 10 percent over the past five years. During that period, the church started several outreach ministries, including a school mentoring program that a nearby community later modeled through a similar program that it began.
“David has a big heart for people, for the church, and for the mission of The United Methodist Church to be a church of open hearts, open minds, and open doors,” said the Rev. Cindy Gregorson, director of connectional ministries for the Minnesota Conference. “His faith is always evident in what he’s doing and how he’s leading. He has great integrity and intentionality.”
Gregorson served on the Cabinet and on the Board of Ordained Ministry with Bard. She says that he is an excellent listener, is someone who seeks out a variety of perspectives, and has strong people skills and a proven ability to help those with different perspectives find common ground.
“He can help people move forward together, and that’s needed at this time in the church,” she said.
“I am strongly committed to trying to help the church,” he said. “At a time when our country is so fractured, if we are a model of working amid differences, the church can be a strong witness to the power of the gospel.
Bishop Bard, and his wife Julie, are proud parents of three adult children. In his free time, he enjoys music, reading, baseball, and walking outside.