INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Bishop Mike Coyner announces the appointment of the Rev. David Byrum as the new superintendent of the East District based in Muncie effective July 1. Byrum currently serves as senior pastor of First United Methodist Church in Valparaiso, Ind. He will succeed the Rev. Dale Mendenhall, who has been appointed to serve as senior pastor of High Street UMC in Muncie, following the retirement of Rev. Jack Hartman as senior pastor of that congregation.

In making this appointment, Coyner, said, “I am pleased David Byrum has accepted the appointment to serve as superintendent of the East District. I have known David for many years, including the years I was his district superintendent, so I am familiar with his strong, caring and careful leadership. He and the Rev. Dale Mendenhall will provide the new East District with a smooth transition, and the Cabinet is looking forward to having David join them as a colleague.”

Byrum is the senior pastor of one of the top 15 churches of the Indiana Conference in membership. He has served in the First UMC Valparaiso position for the past 14 years, during which time he led the congregation in launching an off-site ministry called “New Song,” which is due to be chartered as a new United Methodist church, along with a new ministry in the Hillside neighborhood of the city. Hillside involves a ministry to a lower-income neighborhood. First church also has grown in diversity while maintaining its historic strong support of missions.

Byrum and his wife Becky (Helm) Byrum have two grown children and said they look forward to moving to the East District and working with the clergy and lay leaders there. Rev. Byrum was born in the Lafayette area, raised in Greenwood. He is a graduate of Hanover College, where he earned a B.A. in history. His seminary training was at Duke Divinity School in Durham, N.C. He also earned a Certificate in Theological Studies from Notre Dame University. He has served congregations in Marion, South Bend and Frankfort as well as Valparaiso.

Becky was reared in what is now the East District. Both are familiar with the communities and culture of that part of Indiana.

The Rev. Cindy Reynolds, superintendent of the North District which includes Valparaiso, has profiled with the Staff-Parish Relations Committee of the congregation. The Cabinet has begun its process to appoint a new senior pastor to First UMC in Valparaiso.


“I am familiar with his strong, caring and careful leadership.”

– Bishop Mike Coyner