SPRINGFIELD – Bishop Frank J. Beard has applied for and has been granted a request for a personal Medical Leave, effective July 1, to care for his eyesight.
The request was shared with the IGRC Extended Cabinet April 23 and was approved on April 24 by the North Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops. The Council of Bishops have been notified of the request.
Bishop Beard suffers from glaucoma and has lost 95 percent of his sight in his right eye and 80 percent of his sight in his left eye. The medical leave will allow him the time needed to work with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., in caring for his sight and making necessary adjustments for future ministry. The leave of up to six months is offered to active bishops by the Book of Discipline, paragraph 410.4.
The IGRC Committee on Episcopacy, chaired by the Rev. Victor Long, and the North Central Jurisdictional (NCJ) Episcopacy Committee, chaired by Rev. Sara Isbell, are supporting this request. The NCJ College of Bishops, after consultation with the Council of Bishops, will assign an Interim Bishop that will work with the IGRC in Bishop Beard’s absence.
It is anticipated that Bishop Beard will return to active duty at the end of this Medical Leave. During medical leave, Bishop Beard is to refrain from any official duties. During this time, Bishop Beard has requested that you be in prayer for him and his wife Melissa as they take the time to address these medical concerns.
Any questions can be directed to Rev. Long, Rev. Isbell, your District Superintendent, a Conference director or Rev. Janice Griffith, Executive Assistant to the Bishop.
Read Bishop Beard's column "Vision and Sight...