In the early 1960’s the Frederick Church of the Brethren expanded their space by adding the rooms, upstairs and downstairs, that are currently used as Sunday School and Learning Center classrooms. Ruth Hubbel was the church member most involved in the planning and arranging of the Sunday School rooms for which she was given much credit and thanks.

Soon after that, Mrs. Hubbel arranged to use one of the rooms for a play group. Starting in 1961, and for several years after, she served the social and educational needs of a group of children from the families of church members. By renting additional space, her enrollment increased to 60 children with 4 teachers. Subsequently, the nursery school business was sold to Pat Linehan. She named the center Church of the Brethren Nursery and Kindergarten. Mrs. Linehan expanded the program using all four classrooms- first for morning only and then adding two afternoon classes. Eventually, the enrollment totaled 129 children and was served by 12 staff members.

Pat Wallace had been teaching nursery and kindergarten at the Church of the Brethren Nursery and Kindergarten for several years when the business was put on the market in 1981. She agreed to buy the school and continue the already established business. The name was changed to Church of the Brethren Learning Center Preschool.

Upon her retirement, Mrs. Wallace made the program available for purchase. In July 1997, Church of the Brethren Learning Center Preschool was acquired by the Frederick Church of the Brethren and became licensed by MSDE Region 12. Mrs. Corbin Bettencourt directed COBLC from 1997-2002. During that time a COBLC Board was established to guide and support the Center. In response to parent requests, Church of the Brethren Learning Center reinstated the Full Day Kindergarten program in August of 2000. The kindergarten is approved by the Maryland State Department of Education. Mrs. Karla Hallock served as an interim director until Mrs. Virginia Schartner was hired as Director in November 2002. The staff has been credentialed since 2011. COBLC was awarded MSDE Accreditation in 2012 and the school is participating in the MSDE EXCEL’s program.

After 14 years of faithfully serving this program, Mrs. Schartner retired in November of 2015 and immensely enjoys time with her family.  After teaching at the school for 9 years, Mrs. Jenny Shively was hired as the Director in January 2016. Currently the staff of 14 teaches 14 classes in 6 different classrooms. God is good!


The Church of the Brethren Learning Center Preschool is an educational and social ministry of the Frederick Church of the Brethren, established for the purpose of providing a quality education within a Christian environment. Essential to the mission of the school is the importance of moral and spiritual values, discipline, and respect for others. In harmony with this mission, the leadership of the school is comprised of qualified and compassionate personnel who maintain a close relationship with the home and the community, in order to enhance the success of the students.