Bethlehem Church Opens Star Learning Center

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BOWLEY’S QUARTERS, Md. — Bethlehem Church has officially opened its Star Learning Center, a new ministry for young kids between the ages of two and four. The church received a grant from BCM/D’s State Missions Offering to help this project come to fruition with the goal of meeting the need for a preschool program in the community while furthering the church’s mission, “Simply Jesus”.

Associate Pastor Cody Cooper with his daughter Ruby. (Photo by Christa Bressan)

The grant money contributed to covering the costs associated with launching Star Learning Center including updating the fire and alarm systems, constructing a protective fence around the playground and making necessary building renovations.

“Even when we had applied for the grant. We weren’t aware of, you know, how much everything was going to cost and what all needed to be done,” said Bethlehem’s Family Pastor, Cody Cooper. He said the grant was “a huge blessing.”

Star Learning Center is a collaborative vision of Lead Pastor Matt Robinson and his wife Sarah who wanted to better serve families with young children through gospel-centered, affordable education. The center ministers to children using daily lessons about phonics and numbers, skills and language development, fun activities and Bible reading. Right now, Director Christa Bressan and instructor Chloe Pizzini are walking the kids through Genesis 1:1 and the significance of the Bible’s creation story.

Bressan, who has more than ten years of experience working in childcare and education, has exhibited a passion for ministering to younger kids since her high school days. “I think that these early years are important to teach them that school is fun, and it’s fun to learn,” said Bressan. “One of my favorite times of the day is getting them all settled on their nap mats and just reading to them and watching their faces light up,” she said.

She also explained how they incorporate music into Bible time using action songs such as “My God is So Big, So Strong, So Mighty” that engage the kids and teach them to internalize the Word. For Bressan, it’s about building a solid foundation rooted in truth and giving the children she looks after tools that will carry them through more challenging stages of life.

Instructor Chloe Pizzini and Star Center Learning Center Director Christa Bressan help young students with a coloring activity related to their Genesis 1:1 theme.  (Photo by Madison Wells-James)

“They don’t realize it but there are times as middle schoolers and teenagers that they’re going to need those songs…and I want to hide it in their heart now,” said Bressan.

Star Learning Center currently has eight kids enrolled but the center has the capacity to hold up to 50 children as the program continues to expand. Cooper is hopeful that this will open a window of economic opportunity for the church to serve the local community and draw more families to the church who need to hear the good news. “I think that’s the biggest thing…we haven’t crossed the finish line but we’ve reached the starting line and we’re wanting to continue and to put our best foot forward,” he said.

For more information about the curriculum or the enrollment process for Star Learning Center, visit

Prayer List:

  1. For the first few months of the program to run smoothly
  2. Diligence and wisdom for everyone involved
  3. More families to enroll their children in the program
  4. Greater community outreach including single mothers who need assistance


Madison Wells-James is a freelance writer and photographer.