Bishop David Alan Bard is serving as the interim bishop for the Minnesota Annual Conference. This assignment begins January 1, 2021, and continues until another bishop is assigned.
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, prior to becoming a 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, 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.
Watch a video greeting and sermon from Bishop Bard to the Minnesota Conference.
Janet Beard is the administrative assistant in the Episcopal Area office, a role she assumed in April 2021.
Since 2015, Beard has served as conference secretary for the Minnesota Conference, and more recently, she also became its Board of Ordained Ministry registrar.
Beard—whose husband, Rev. Jim Beard, serves Bethel UMC in Mound—has had an interesting career path.
After earning a degree in elementary education, she spent two years at a Montessori school before having children and staying home with them for several years. When her youngest son went to kindergarten, she began doing administrative work for a horse feed manufacturer while Jim was in seminary.
Later, when Jim was appointed to a church in Delano, she spent seven years as a Title 1 teacher there. Then in 2008, when Jim was appointed to a church plant in Big Lake, she worked alongside him, making connections and inviting people to join their worshipping community.
Janet and Jim have two adult children and two granddaughters, whom they love spending time with.
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church