The founder of the School, Dr. Shaw was also the founding Pastor of the Timothy Darling Presbyterian Church in Oxford North Carolina. Mary Potter Academy was an outgrowth of the Church and it satisfied the need for a school for African Americans in this area of North Carolina.
Barnetta McGhee White and Valencia Benham King Nelson graduated this high school founded by Dr. George Clayton Shaw.
Now to learn a bit about this school of the Freedmen's Bureau.
Dr. Shaw, born in 1863 in Louisburg, North Carolina was a graduate of Lincoln University and later the Auburn Theological Seminary. His Presbyterian background and the encouragement of Dr. Timothy Darling and Mrs. Mary Potter (persons he knew while at Auburn) profoundly affected his decision to come south to establish the Church (1888) and the School (1889). It was primarily through the efforts and monetary donations of the Presbyterian Board of Missions and the personal attention of Mrs. Mary Potter that his goals reached fruition. Shaw, along with his wife, Mary Elizabeth Lewis Shaw, played an important role in realizing their vision of religion and education of Negroes in the South.