Frank Beard elected bishop by North Central Jurisdiction

The Rev. Frank Beard, pastor of Castleton United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, has been elected as a United Methodist bishop by delegates at the North Central Jurisdictional Conference.

Beard was elected July 13 at the jurisdiction’s quadrennial meeting in Peoria, Illinois. On the sixth ballot, he received 109 votes, one more than the 108 needed for election.

Beard told delegates that in 1968, he was a “snotty-nosed” kid playing around a United Methodist church when its members invited him for cookies and Kool-Aid — and then provided a scholarship so he could attend United Methodist Church camp.

“That little Methodist Church took me under their wing,” he said. “In 1968, it wasn’t popular for white churches to invite little black boys to be part of their congregation.” Beard said that church blessed him and God called him to the glorious task of preaching the good news.

Beard was the second bishop elected by the delegates, an equal number of United Methodist clergy and laity, from the nine states that form the North Central Jurisdiction. The assignments of bishops for the next four years will be announced later in the week. His four-year term of service begins Sept. 1.

Beard has served Castleton United Methodist since 2012. He was previously superintendent of the Kokomo District 2004-2012. He has been vice chair of the General Commission on General Conference since 2004 and a member of the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry since 2012. He is a five-time General Conference delegate and a six-time Jurisdictional Conference delegate. He is a graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky.  

A consecration service for the four new bishops will be held July 16. The ceremony can be watched live at the North Central Jurisdiction’s website.

Within the United States, local United Methodist churches are organized into increasingly larger groups: numerous districts, dozens of annual conferences and five jurisdictions (regions). Nine active bishops now lead the 11 annual conferences that form the North Central Jurisdiction.

A United Methodist bishop is elected for life. Typically, a bishop will serve in a specific annual conference for eight years. The United Methodist Book of Discipline, the denomination’s law book, directs each bishop to “guard the faith, order, liturgy, doctrine, and discipline of the Church” and to “lead all persons entrusted to their oversight in worship, in the celebration of the sacraments, and in their mission of witness and service in the world.” Bishops also are to be “prophetic voices and courageous leaders in the cause of justice for all people.”

The states represented in this jurisdiction are: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Butler is a multimedia producer/editor for United Methodist Communications. Christa Meland of the Minnesota Conference contributed to this story. 


Like what you're reading? Support the ministry of UM News! Your support ensures the latest denominational news, dynamic stories and informative articles will continue to connect our global community. Make a tax-deductible donation at ResourceUMC.org/GiveUMCom.

Sign up for our newsletter!

UMNEWS-SUBSCRIPTION
General Church
Nigeria Area Bishop John Wesley Yohanna (center) speaks to people at a camp for internally displaced persons in Jalingo, Taraba State, Nigeria, in 2019. Conflict has intensified in the Nigeria Episcopal Area in recent months. Two aides to Yohanna reported several United Methodists to the police for allegedly disrupting the Nigerian United Methodist Church and training others to become “rude and aggressive” toward Yohanna, while opponents have accused the bishop of treating them unfairly and mismanaging projects — charges the bishop denies. File photo by Tim Tanton, UM News.

Divide deepens among Nigerian church leaders

Aides to bishop report fellow United Methodists to police for allegedly disturbing the peace, with four of them ultimately landing in jail on spying charges. West Africa College of Bishops plans to send delegation to Nigeria to meet with opposing parties.
Social Concerns
United Methodist Bishop LaTrelle Easterling helps conduct a denomination-wide online service of lament for racism while standing in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington on June 24, 2020. The anti-racism work of the church is just getting started after the first year of the Dismantling Racism campaign, say bishops and others. File screenshot of video by United Methodist Communications.

Anti-racism campaign marks one year

The anti-racism work of the church is just getting started after the first year of the Dismantling Racism campaign, say bishops and others.
Bishops
Bishop Yeakel, who came to the UMC from the EUB tradition and lead what is now Discipleship Ministries during the union that formed The United Methodist Church, died July 4 at age 93. Yeakel was a bishop of the Syracuse and Washington D.C. areas. File photo by Mike DuBose, UM News.

Bishop Yeakel, caring leader, dies at 93

Bishop Joseph H. Yeakel helped in the formation of The United Methodist Church in the 1968 and later served in a variety of leadership roles, including Council of Bishops president.