Rev. David Niu to serve as DS of Central Valley District

May 27, 2021

Rev. David Niu to serve as DS of Central Valley District

Clergy and Laity of the California-Nevada Conference,

Grace and peace to you in the name of Christ our Risen Lord!
I take this moment to share a critical announcement with you.  I am pleased to announce that effective July 1, 2021, the Rev. David Niu will become the District Superintendent of the Central Valley District. 

I am so grateful for his willingness to follow the Rev. Debra Brady who will appointed to serve as the Pastor of First United Methodist Church of Modesto, CA, following the very fruitful ministry of Rev. Ani Missirian-Wilson who has requested a Family Leave.

Rev. Brady has served 7 years on the Cabinet with distinction.  For 6 years she was the Dean of Cabinet, year by year elevating the effectiveness of the Cabinet in ways that have strengthened our capacity to focus on the mission and ministry we are called to lead.    As the Superintendent of the Central Valley District, Rev. Brady has led the district into its future in critical strategic ways while never forgetting to attend to the needs of the smallest of congregations.  She has been a caring pastoral presence for the clergy and the laity serving in the district. 

Rev. Niu comes to his new appointment after 25 years of service in the local church.  He has pastored the following California churches:  Wesley, Modesto; Oak Park, Sacramento; First Hanford; Escalon; Livingston; First San Rafael; Novato in Novato Bay; Aldersgate in San Rafael; and Nevada City UMC where he presently serves. 

Pastor David has been a deeply committed connectional leader in our Conference.  He has served as a circuit leader, on the Committee on Nominations and Connectional Leadership Development, the Study Committee for an Inclusive Conference, and the Immigration Task Force.  Presently he serves on the Clergy Leadership Development Committee, the Claimants Endowment Board, and the Board of Ordained Ministry. 

Rev. David Niu is known for his humility, his thoughtfulness, his servant spirit, his collegiality and for being a bridge builder in our racially and culturally diverse Conference.  He is a strong administrator of the work of the church and does this work from a pastor’s heart with the vision of strengthening our world-wide church’s efforts to serve God and God’s people everywhere with love, mercy and justice.  He recently shared with me and the Central Valley District Committee on Superintendency that responding to his call to ordained ministry and attending the Pacific School of Religion to prepare for where God would send him, was the experience for him of moving from seeing God as a judge to knowing God as one who holds us accountable from a heart of mercy and abundant grace.  He yearns for all God’s children to know the heart of God and experience God’s mercy and abundant grace.

Rev. Niu’s family joins his commitment to Christ and his church.  His spouse Ana is a loving home care provider.  They have 4 children and 2 grandchildren. Son Doyle is a graduate of Escalon High School who studied two years at Columbia College in Sonora and then joined the US Marines. Upon completing his service in the Marines he became a commercial and residential lock smith.  He is married to Gemma McHugh who works for Microsoft.  Daughter Neomai also graduated from Escalon High School and is married to Viliami Huihui.  Neomai and Viliami are the parents of grandchildren, Mele Tonga who is 2 and Ivy Grace who is 2 months old.  Daughter Emma a graduate of San Rafael High School and who this month will receive her Master’s degree in Education from California State University-Sacramento is a 5th grade teacher at Stratford School in San Bruno.  Youngest son Michael is also a graduate of San Rafael High School and is beginning his junior year at California State University-Sacramento.   They are a true parsonage family.

As Rev. Niu and I were talking about his journey in ordained ministry he said to me, “Bishop, you are asking me to return to where I started my ministry,” and began to recount the memories that to this day connect him deeply to the Central Valley.    He expressed his unwavering love for the people he presently serves at Nevada City UMC while affirming that he is an itinerant pastor ready to go where he is sent.

Join me in praying for these transitions that touch the lives of clergy leaders, our churches, our Central Valley District and indeed our entire Conference family.  God be with these beloved ones who journey forth in faithfulness and all of us.
Your Sister in Christ,


California-Nevada Conference
1350 Halyard Drive
West Sacramento, CA 95691
(916) 374-1500