The Indiana Delegation has selected the Rev. Dr. Frank Beard of Castleton UMC to serve as their 2016 episcopal nominee.
Dr. Beard, who currently serves as the senior pastor of Castleton United Methodist Church has been a delegate to six Jurisdictional Conferences and five General Conferences and has served as first elected clergy, consecutively, since 2004 and serves as the chairperson of the Indiana Delegation for both conferences in 2016.
Beard has served in a variety of leadership roles at every level of the church. Within the conference, he has served as a district superintendent and has been actively involved as a member or former member of the Board of Ordained Ministry, Episcopacy Committee, Church Development Committee, Black Methodist for Church Renewal (BMCR), the Large Church Initiative and more.
At the General Church level, he has served in a myriad of positions with the General Commission on General Conference, including 2020 Site Selection Chair; General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and the General Board of Discipleship, as well as serving as a member of the National Black Methodist for Church Renewal and the General Board of Discipleship.
“My heart’s cry is for God to revitalize The United Methodist Church so that we can impact our communities for Jesus Christ. The Rev. Dr. Frank Beard is precisely the kind of leader that we need for that happen. Frank cares deeply about the people outside of our church walls,” said the Rev. Beth Ann Cook, pastor of Ogilville and Rockford United Methodist Churches and a member of the Indiana Delegation.
Delegation member and World Methodist Evangelism Institute Executive Director the Rev. Dr. Kim Reisman said, “I’ve worked with Frank in a variety of contexts – local church, Annual Conference, General Church. In all of these environments, he brings an important blend of firm conviction and pastoral grace. I believe that’s a crucial combination for leadership in our day.”
“I take the episcopacy very seriously and have always looked to my bishop as a source of spiritual and organizational authority. I believe Frank has the necessary gifts, and I would gladly place myself under his episcopal leadership,” said Reisman.
“Frank Beard brings a great deal of experience to the table as a leader of the local church, the Indiana Conference, and the General Conference. He is a godly leader filled with love and compassion for people. His leadership inspires me to be a better pastor and leader,” said the Rev. Tony Alstott, pastor of Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church and delegation member.
“I am confident that Frank would bring more than enough energized passion, diverse experience, and deep wisdom to the episcopacy. His evangelistic heart will be crucial as our denomination corporately seeks to engage a changing culture and reach new people with the message of Jesus Christ,” shared Tyler Best a seminarian and member of the Indiana Delegation.
Dr. Beard was ordained a deacon in 1982 and an Elder in 1985; and has served in many different ministry settings ranging from small to large churches, as well as having served as district superintendent of the former Kokomo and North Central Districts for eight years prior to his appointment to Castleton UMC in July 2012.
Beard has a strong sense of community and has extensive volunteer experience through the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Youth for Christ, the Urban League, K-21 Foundation of Kosciusko County, Greater Warsaw Ministerial Association and more. He has also served as an adjunct professor at Grace College, Winona Lake, Ind., teaching at two of their correctional system sites.
Former Executive Assistant to the Bishop and retired Elder David V.W. Owen said, “I have known Frank and served with him for many years. I believe his leadership is a full expression of his deep spiritual commitment. He is the kind of person and pastor our United Methodist Church needs to give a steady hand for leadership. His passion for making discipleship for transformation inspires all of us to be clearly committed to our Lord in all we do.”
“Dr. Frank Beard has been prepared by God to help lead the church in the 21st Century. His passion, genuine love of God and commitment to the church is evident to all who look with a discerning heart,” said Rev. Dr. Reginald Lee, pastor of Wesley United Methodist Church, Indianapolis.
He continued, “Furthermore, Frank has distinguished himself at every level of the church. His acumen and commitment to Orthodoxy while being full of grace is commendable. I hope the Indiana Annual Conference and the Jurisdictional Conference will utilize the gifts and graces of my colleague and friend, Dr. Frank Beard. He will serve our church well as a bishop.”
Beard is married to Melissa Kay Riffell, and they have two daughters: Eleanor Lee and Emily Beard. They have two grandchildren: Maya and Elijah Lee. He is an avid outdoorsman, fisher and lover of sports. Other hobbies include cooking and antiquing and garage sales.