Bishop Michael J. Coyner (right) embraces and congratulates Frank Beard (left) after the announcement of Beard's election as a bishop.By: Skyler Nimmons*
Beard was elected, from a pool of 17 candidates, on the 6th ballot by the 184 delegates to North Central Jurisdictional Conference.
He was presented to the conference by Dr. Maggie Jackson of the East Ohio Conference and North Central Jurisdictional Committee on the Episcopacy Chairperson.
“In 1968, I was a little snotty-nosed kid playing around a United Methodist Church and a layman by then name of George Bennet invited me to church for cookies and Kool-aid and to vacation bible school,” said Beard.
He continued, “that it wasn’t popular white churches in 1968 to invite little black boys to be a part of their congregation”. Beard went on to say that is was the investment of time, love, and attention given by members of that congregation that allowed him to come to know the Lord and one day serve Him by preaching the Good News. Beard’s story is a testimony to the power of investing in the lives of children and inviting youth of all ages to events such as VBS and camp.
A graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Ky, he 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 of the Indiana Conference for eight years prior to his appointment to Castleton UMC in July 2012.