Dr. David Bernard

david_bernard_high_res1David Bernard was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on November 20, 1956, to Elton and Loretta Bernard. The family soon moved to nearby Port Allen, Louisiana., where his parents helped start a church. His sister Karen was born in 1959. A few years later, the family moved to Hammond, Louisiana, where his parents began their preaching ministry and founded a church. After his parents were appointed as missionaries to Korea, he traveled with them across North America as they raised funds. Just before starting their travel, the family barely survived a head-on collision that caused severe injuries and required months of recuperation.

In 1965, at age eight, he moved with his family to Seoul, Korea, where his parents served as the pioneer missionaries of the United Pentecostal Church for twenty years. On the way to Korea, their ship caught on fire and almost exploded. In 1970, the family returned to the U.S. for one year. The children lived with the Mitchells, relatives in Baton Rouge, to attend school, while the parents traveled to raise funds. In 1971, the family returned to Korea. His sister Julie was born in 1972. In his last two years of high school, he taught English at the UPC Bible college and at Hanmi Foreign Language Institute. He graduated from Seoul Foreign School in 1974 as valedictorian (GPA of 4.0), student council president, and recipient of the Seoul Foreign School Award.

College Years
In 1974, at age 17, he moved to Houston, Texas, to attend Rice University as a National Merit Scholar. He attended Irvington Pentecostal Church for four years, serving as youth president, teen Sunday school teacher, college and career Sunday school teacher, and Bible study teacher. He worked as an accounting clerk at Permian Oil Corporation and as instructor in accounting at the University of Houston. He graduated in 1978 with a Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude in mathematical sciences and managerial studies and with the Phi Beta Kappa and Financial Executives Institute awards.

After graduation, he moved to Austin, Texas, to enroll in the University of Texas School of Law. There, he attended the UPC of Austin for three years, serving as youth minister, youth Sunday school teacher, missions secretary, outreach director, home Bible study teacher, and trustee. He worked as salesman, bookkeeper, law clerk, and instructor in bookkeeping at Austin Community College.

During final exams in 1980, he preached his first revival in Marble Falls for Pastor Hazel Frusha. He worked in Beaumont that summer for a law firm but preached or taught in churches twenty-one times in eleven weeks, and at the end of the summer, he recognized his call to preach.

He received ministerial license with the UPCI in March 1981. In May he graduated from the University of Texas with a Doctor of Jurisprudence with honors as well as the awards of Texas Law Review, Order of the Coif, and UT Chancellors (top one percent of class). On June 6, he married the beautiful and vivacious Connie Sharpe of Austin. They moved to Jackson, Mississippi, in June to begin full-time ministry. He passed the Texas State Bar examination in August.

Jackson, Mississippi
Beginning in 1981, he served for five years as instructor (teaching eleven to sixteen credit hours per semester), dean of missions, dean of students (one year), and assistant vice president (four years) at Jackson College of Ministries in Jackson, Mississippi. He studied Greek at Wesley Biblical Seminary for one year. His wife enrolled in the JCM School of Music and graduated in 1984.
Also in 1981, at age 24, he published his first book, In Search of Holiness, written with his mother. It was the first full book on the subject by a Oneness author. In 1983, he published his first book as sole author, The Oneness of God, which is Word Aflame Press’s all-time bestseller. In 1984, he presented a paper on Oneness Pentecostalism at a Harvard University symposium. His first child, Jonathan, was born on November 14, 1985.

In 1986, at age 29, he taught his first camp meeting and also took his first overseas missions trips (other than Korea) to El Salvador, the Netherlands, and Yugoslavia.

St. Louis, Missouri
Beginning in 1986, he served for six years as full-time associate editor in the Editorial Division of the UPCI, residing in St. Louis, Missouri. During this time, he also preached and taught extensively across the United States and overseas. In 1987, he began serving on the Parliamentary Committee of the UPCI. In 1989, he presented the first paper on Oneness Pentecostalism by a Oneness author to the Society for Pentecostal Studies. While the Bernards lived in St Louis, Sister Bernard became choir director at Florissant Valley Apostolic Church and for a time taught music theory at Gateway College of Evangelism. Their second son, Daniel, was born on September 24, 1988.

Austin, Texas
The Bernards moved to Austin, Texas, in 1992 to found New Life Church. Lindsey, their daughter, was born about two months later on June 16. Pastor Bernard continued to work part-time as associate editor for nine years, resigning in 2000. Soon after his decision to resign, he was appointed as the founding president of Urshan Graduate School of Theology in St. Louis. Over the years, he has served on various UPCI committees and boards, including the Ministers Appeal Council (six years), Texas District Sunday School Committee (one year), Texas District Board (seven years as sectional presbyter), Board of Publication (currently), Parliamentary Committee (currently), and General Board (three currently). Sister Bernard has served as sectional ladies leader and district ladies leader. During Pastor Bernard’s seven-year tenure as presbyter, the section grew from thirty to fifty-three churches and daughter works. In November 2002, he was elected as the superintendent of the newly formed South Texas District UPC, which has grown from 160 churches and daughter works to 220.

To date, he has authored thirty books and booklets and three pamphlets on the Bible, theology, church history, and Christian living, including Word Aflame Press’s best-selling book, The Oneness of God. Total books printed are about 750,000 in thirty-six languages. He is a contributing author to twenty-two other books and many periodicals. He has edited 194 books and fifty-seven pamphlets, including most of those currently in print at Word Aflame Press. Over the years, he has traveled in seventy-two countries, preaching and teaching in forty-five countries on six continents. He has traveled to all fifty states in the U.S., preaching and teaching in forty-six. He is listed in Who’s Who in Religion and Who’s Who in U.S. Writers, Editors and Poets. In 2005 he earned a master of theology in New Testament at the University of South Africa. He is currently a doctor of theology candidate in New Testament at the University of South Africa.

Currently, Pastor Bernard is trying to find a way to eliminate the need for sleep so that he can pursue his hobbies of reading, chess, racquetball, swimming, and the symphony, and he is trying to live for God!

In October 2009, Dr. Bernard was elected the General Secretary of the United Pentecostal Church International.

Published on June 10, 2009 at 12:53 pm  Comments (29)  

29 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Praise the Lord!
    Hi I’m from Philippines but I’m living now in London, UK, I used to browse in the UPC sites and am very interested about the preaching and teaching of Dr. Bernard. Reading this facts about him was interesting and I just said to myself WOW! That is so amazing background. No wonder he speaks the WORD with power, authority and wisdom. I praise the Lord for raising such a godly man.
    Thank you and God bless.

  2. Hello, I was wondering if you could relay to me where Pastor Bernard is currently pastoring or ministering or have an email address for him. I consider him a close friend and brother in Christ!
    Brother Frederick Sadler

    • I hope that the info given was of some help in you locating Pastor Bernard. God Bless you

  3. Yes it was. I located him and he is still pastoring in Austin, Texas. I worked with him in Austin, Texas when his church was under satanic attack during the time of trying to finish the second part of his building program. I consider him a dear brother in Christ. His church is now considering a move to another location in Austin. Praise the Lord for His mighty works in Austin. I am currently considering Masters or Doctoral work in Theology at Urshin Graduate School after completing my Law Degree. God bless all!

  4. This man is a walking and talking brain. I am amazed and impressed by his fortitude and motivation. Praise the Lord for men that stand up and shout!


    • I am not a “fan” of no man, but I do have great admiration for this great man of God. I hope and pray that someday I will have the pleasure to meet him. Just want to give honor to whom honor is due……

  5. I am amazed and impressed by this man of God. He is a walking and talking brain. I appreciate his fortitude and for standing up and shouting with a voice of triumph!

    Amen Brother. Looking forward to this tendency!


  6. Im glad God has blessed him much. It was a pleasure working with him in Austin. God asks us to honor all to whom honor is due. I know God will continue to use him as they move to their new location. (with a bit of humor, perhaps I should publish my own website! He and I share common insights and education!)

  7. David Bernard was the way his is now when he was a 20 yr. old law school student. Sure, he has learned and done much over the years and has changed in some ways I am sure, but the steel-trap mind, dedication and wise choices were visible from the beginning. He courted his wife properly and even the Bernards had their car soaped the day of their wedding. I remember he used to study koine Greek during lunch when he was at JCM. He had a major influence on JCM while he was there. He has no bad motives towards others and doesn’t get as stuck in the the nepotism of UPC. His wife Connie is a simple, charming woman- the measure of her mother, Vida Sharpe, whose mother pastored a church in Austin.

    • I would love to meet Dr. Bernard, if he is ever in the Washington DC area, please let me know. And if you ever see him, let him know that there is someone in A PLACE CALLED AGAPE that has been blessed so much by his ministry

  8. Praise the lord i thank u mr. David bernard, u have revealed me the mystery of the truth w/c is been a big “?” on which belief or doctrine am i going to believe. Now i thank God for ministering u to deliever the revalation upon us the micronesian.

  9. Pastor Bernard and Sis. B. are the most genuine down to earth people you can imagine. I have been blessed to attend New Life for 9 years before they were elected to serve as General Sup. and 1st Lady of UPCI. They have helped me through the most difficult and painful times in my life. I love them dearly and miss seeing them every Sunday. But I know they will lead the UPCI with the same love and wisdom as they have led New Life all these years. Pastor B. can be funny in his own dry and witty way. Sister B. is motherly, loving, funny, outgoing,and just beautiful inside and out. Above all they are just two real human beings who genuinely love God.

  10. I thank God for Dr. Bearnard, his teachings and his books have help me so much in defending the Apostolic faith. Growing up from birth I always knew the teachings from a Apostolic standpoint, but through his teachings I am much more equip in defending it with others. I do hope and pray to meet this great man of God someday.

  11. I hope you do too. He is truly a blessing to fellowship with. Also if you ever have the pleasure of having Sister B’s homemade chocolate chip cookies, they are absolutely heavenly. I remember many youth gatherings at the Bernard’s with her cookies and totino’s pizza rolls….lol.
    If you ever have a chance to visit Austin we would love to have you. Pastor B. is often away with Gen Sup duties but he does come into town and preaches sometimes. Pastor Shaw always does a great job preaching the Word.

    • Next year I have a friend who lives in Austin and another one who lives in Houston. I plan to visit both, when I do, I will contact you and make sure and visit and hopefully meet Pastor. Even if he is not there that Sunday, just the fellowship with the saints will be joyous as well.

      • P.S.—also tell Sister B. to make sure she makes a batch of cookies for me as well (LOL)

  12. Dr. Bernard is a wonderful pastor and I enjoyed working with him and his church in Austin!! Mighty moves of God at that time!!!
    Frederick L. Sadler
    3rd year law

  13. Yes! Brother Sadler….as I’ve stated, it is my hope to meet Pastor Bernard someday, as I have admired his work from afar for so long.

  14. He and his family are really nice! And we have an intellectual kinship that I like as well. He is moving his church to a new location soon the last I heard. We are both Biblical scholars in our own right!

  15. hello Dr Devid B you are true teacher of the bible but i have some questions that related to docitren.S how i can meet you? thankyou God bless you.

  16. Can someone tell me about Bro. Elton Bernard, Bro. David Bernard’s father. I was Baptized by him in Korea.

  17. Dr,David K .Bernard,your teachings are much more interesting and inspiring, from papua new guinea

  18. Hello Dr. Bernard, I have been a member of the U P C Church for over 22 years. I so enjoy your teaching on holiness. I am getting ready to start your six session DVD series on pursuing holiness. I teach a small women’s Bible study at our church. I am finding the way you teach on holiness very easy to understand and receive. I have been praying a lot lately as I see the days quickly approaching

  19. Wow!

    • Do you know if Elton and Loretta Bernard are still living?

  20. I was stationed in Korea in 1967-68 and was in there home many times. David was always reading Hardy Boy books that i recall. I have pictures of him and family. His father Elton D Bernard baptized me in Jesus name there. I am so thankful.

    • Hello David Hinds,
      We are doing an interview of Dr. Bernard, and I was wondering if I could get some of those pictures you were talking about.

  21. David, would you please call me? Jeanne Murray – 512 797 0313?

    • Sorry to be just getting back in contact with you. But I am not Dr. Bernard. I am Elder T. Byron Williams, a person who respects the ministry of Dr. David Bernard and payed honor to him, and his ministry on this sight.

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