A fire originated in a defective furnace flue occurred in the furnace room of the unfinished church Sunday afternoon, December 30, 1900. It caused great excitement and concern because there was scant water supply. The fire was located in the wall a few inches above the pulpit and had eaten its way along the floor and up between the plastering and weatherboarding and spread very rapidly. Articles, including the stained glass windows, were removed from the church. A telephone call was made to the Vigilant Fire Company which responded with the Vigilant Chemical engine at 3:45 p.m. The firemen tore up part of the floor and applied the chemical. The fire was soon under control and the loss did not exceed $75. The church was insured by the Southern Mutual Insurance Co.
The church building was erected on the north end of a lot facing 50 feet on West Market Street and extended along North Adams Street 230 feet. The building was 47 by 32 feet with a 21 feet by 16 feet annex. The foundation was constructed of white York county limestone and had a wood superstructure. The modified Gothic architecture building was one story in height. Entrance into the main auditorium and lecture room was through a tower on the southwest corner. The building was painted a light pearl color with trimmings of iron grey and black.
The interior of the church was divided into vestibule, auditorium, and lecture room and finished in yellow pine of a light shade. The seats were comfortable light wood chairs. The ceiling was finely papered in paneling of a creamy olive tint with etched figure of darker shade, edged with a grey buffed stile. This was separated from the walls by an 18 inch frieze of flower work, deepening into a deep pink terra cotta shade. The walls were of a yellow pinky terra cotta, with base of darker shade separated by a band in maroon with gold scroll work. The lecture room and vestibule, ceilings and walls were embellished in like manner.
The pulpit, altar and organ loft were arranged on the north side of the auditorium. In the rear of the pulpit there was a painted arch, within which on a blue ground there was a finely executed cross and crown, surrounded by a cluster of leaf work. The pulpit and communion table were of antique oak, while the altar furniture was in a rich old cherry and covered with a deep red plush, contrasted very finely with the lighter woods. The pulpit, organ loft and altar floors were covered with a neat figured red carpet. On either side of the pulpit was a memorial window. One was in memory of John Lenhart and wife and the other simply to mother and father.
In the east gable there were three windows, one a large dual window, placed by Class 35, Bee Hive S.S., flanked on either side by a smaller window, to Dr. J.H. Sieling and S.H. Forry, Esq., respectively. In the west gable were three windows, the dual one being a memorial to Henry and Susan Ebert, and the smaller one is memoriam of Rev. John H. Menges and Chas. C. Lanius, respectively. In the east end of the south wall there was a window to J.H. and J.W. Shearer. Between this window and the tower entrance there were two doors and three removable paneled glass slides, filled with crystallized opalescent glass of a very pleasant effect. These doors and slides opened into the lecture room in the south elevation. Here also were three windows, the dual to Revs. C.E. Walter and H.H. Weber, and one of the smaller ones to Rev. D. Sell and the other the gift of a friend. In the east wall was a window to H.J. Spahr and wife, and one by the Union Sunday school of Eberton in the west wall. Over each doorway of the vestibule was a glass transom in keeping with the other windows, with the inscription St. James Ev. Lutheran Church. The windows were all of gothic form and set with small leaded diamond shaped panes of opalescent stained glass, in soft neutral tints of green, pink, blue and yellow in pretty designs, admitting a mellow and gentle light into the interior.