Meet the Praise and Prayer Band



Praise & Prayer Band

Dave Byers is a man of prayer and a talented guitarist and singer.  Before he joined Redeemer he served as a music minister for 20 years at the Congregation of the Resurrection in Bruce & RogerWoodstock. Dave is a retired school teacher who serves at the Daytime Drop-In program for the homeless, coordinates the monthly Men’s Prayer Breakfast, and leads the singing at Evening Prayer.  Dave spends his summers on his boat in Michigan, fishing and enjoying God’s creation.

David Byers has come a long way from the old days when he played his toy ukulele along as his dad Dave led worship at Resurrection.  He is a talented musician who has played drums or bass in many bands over the years, as well as many of the musical productions at the Opera House.  When he's not making music David works in McHenry as a boat mechanic.


Laura Byers is a true worship enthusiast and a big fan of contemporary Christian music.  Laura is the leader of Redeemer’s Parish Fellowship team and serves at Redeemer’s Daytime Drop-In program.  She is a retired school teacher who enjoys fitness walking.  She is a firm believer in the power of prayer.  Dave and Laura are the “Stay and Pray” leaders at the second service.


Having served the church in almost every conceivable way during his decades at Redeemer,  Bruce Friedman is now sharing his singing skills and (of course) serve as the sound technician for our band.  Bruce owns and operates his own diesel truck and automotive repair business in Johnsburg.  Whenever something’s broken at the church Bruce is the “go to” guy.  Originally a “Jersey boy,” you can find Bruce every Friday at Open Grill & Campfire Night, during the summer months, rain or shine.


John HudsonJohn Hudson is a retired United Methodist pastor who has taught classes on contemporary worship and the Holy Spirit for more than 30 years.  After retiring from his church in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood, he and his wife Susan moved to Woodstock where he was befriended by Pastor Tom.  John is the coordinator of the Daytime Drop-In program, participates in Redeemer’s prayer ministry, teaches Bible Study classes, runs the Oatmeal Bar, and occasionally preaches.  John will surprise us each month as he worships through painting, dance, banner ministry, singing, and other forms of creative expression. 


Susan Hudson started playing the piano at age 6 and directing her church’s Junior Choir at the age of 17.  She served as choir director and worship leader at Granville United Methodist Church in Chicago for 16 years.  After moving to Woodstock she organized and led a worship band at First United Methodist Church for 6 years.  Susan has been the Office Administrator at Redeemer since 2010.  She also coordinates Redeemer’s prayer ministries and participates in the Daytime Drop-In program.  Susan and John are regulars at Open Grill & Campfire Night with their beloved dogs Bubbles and Chico.


Brian Lee grew up in a musical family and his mother played piano at her church in Chicago.  He began playing the guitar at age 13 and participated in local bands during his high school and college years.  For many years Brian’s talents were confined to leading singalongs for family and friends, but upon his recent retirement he decided to share his musical gifts more publicly by performing at local Open Mic Nights and joining our band. .  Brian and his wife Britt have attended Redeemer for more than 20 years and they serve as ushers and greeters.


In 2014 Mayor Sager presented Carrie Manke with a special award honoring her 20th anniversary playing the flute in the Woodstock City Band.  An accomplished musician, she also played with Susan in the praise band at First United Methodist Church.  Carrie says that music lifts her soul. She has a passion for animals of all kinds and enjoys dressing up her pet turtle Tubby for the holidays.  Carrie is a talented artist who has an amazing, mischievous sense of humor and is adored by her many friends and family for her kindness and sparkling personality.   She lives in Wonder Lake with her husband Steve.

Carrie Manke
Our talented vocalist Roger Oberman is a diaconal minister for the ELCA who has sung at Grace Lutheran for many years.  We are very glad that he has chosen to share his gifts with us as well! Originally from Iowa, Roger served for more than 30 years as a teacher in Woodstock Public Schools until his retirement in 2012.   Roger is a regular at Redeemer’s Praise and Prayer (formerly Harp and Bowl) service on Thursday nights.  Roger and his wife Sue live in Woodstock.


Wenzel Roessler has played with several bands over the years including Echo, Wholigans, Paradox, and Dow Jones & the Industrials. Since 1997 Wenzel has been a percussionist for the Woodstock City Band.  He is also familiar with the church music scene, having played for both Grace Lutheran Church and First United Methodist Church in Woodstock.  Wenzel is a man of many talents.  In addition to the drums he also plays bass and keyboards.  Wenzel and his wife Debbie live in Wonder Lake.  He enjoys spending time with his family, especially his adorable little grandchildren Logan and Noella.


If you have a musical talent and want to join our band, see Susan Hudson


Please thank them all for volunteering to share their musical gifts with us!!