The years between 1978 and 1984 saw a decline in the population of Freeport, as people moved to neighboring cities. Many of the church members moved their membership to churches closer to their new homes.
On June 30, 1984 the Rev. McCrary resigned from the pulpit of First Presbyterian in order to retire from full-time ministry. The pulpit was filled with visiting ministers until the tenure of interim pastor the Rev. Abe Van Sligtenhorst on September 4, 1984. The following year the Rev. Thomas A Stixrud, a graduate of Columbia Theological Seminary, was ordained and installed as pastor on December 5, 1985.
During the ministry of the Rev. Stixrud, the north wall of the church was rebuilt. A major rebuilding of the organ was completed, with a dedication service on October 12, 1986. On November 29, 1986 the church celebrated its thirtieth year in the present building with a Homecoming celebration. The original church building, located at 402 West Second Street, was converted into a furniture store after the relocation of the church. In July 1987 this building was destroyed by fire.
During this time the Seekers Sunday School Class committed themselves to a major renovation of the old manse, which they had been using as their Church Parlor. It is used for classes, school tutoring, and the present prison ministry.