In 1990, spurred by a growing desire to serve the body of Christ in a deeper and more intentional way, Charlie moved his family to Nashville and signed a deal with Sparrow Records. Brown Bannister (Amy Grant) produced "The Secret of Time," a project that put the final polish on a few "West Coast Diaries" favorites, and that gave Charlie an expanded platform in churches and in the Christian music community.

It was during that time, too, that Charlie and his wife, Andi, purchased and began renovating a 100-year-old church building. Their dream was to provide a center for hospitality, biblical study and a shared journey with other believers intent on living life artfully. In those quarters the Art House was born, an entity still vibrant today, hosting authors, teachers, studies, concerts and even the occasional luminary like Mel Gibson or U2’s Bono.

Charlie continued to record his own visionary projects over the next several years ("Love Life", "Coram Deo I & II", "Everything That’s On My Mind", "Strangelanguage" and "Kingdom Come"), but his preferred role shifted increasingly to that of producer and mentor for younger writers, producers, bands and artists. Charlie’s desire to prepare the next generation for the work of being “salt and light” in the culture eventually culminated in the formation of his own record label, re:think (best known for the discovery and development of modern rock sensation Switchfoot and folk artist Sarah Masen).

His songwriter and producer credits during that era grew too numerous to list, but they include more than 200 cuts, dozens of hits such as “In the Light” and “Every Heartbeat,” 14 BMI Awards, nine Dove Awards, one GRAMMY award and numerous nominations. Along the way Charlie waded into more diverse waters as well, authoring the thought-provoking book "At the Crossroads," working on a masters in theological studies at Covenant Seminary in St. Louis, Mo., recording an experimental jazz project titled "Love Press Ex-Curio," accepting a post as principal artist faculty of the Wheaton Conservatory of Music International Improvisational Institute and traveling extensively as a lecturer on subjects related to Christianity and artful living.

His new projects are "Full Circle," a retrospective recording that reinvents his best-loved songs with the help of friends such as Sixpence None the Richer, Jon and Tim Foreman (Switchfoot), tobyMac and Sara Groves and "New Way to Be Human,"Waterbrook Press book that explores what it means to be a student/follower of Jesus. Both are potent distillations of Charlie’s two-decades-old commitment to simultaneously nurture the body of Christ and engage the culture.

And while the resumé is impressive, the real story of Peacock’s legacy is in the relationships. I’m convinced that Charlie’s underlying secret is in the way he’s able to turn fans into friends and ideological opponents into curious questioners. The same intelligent honesty, experimental creativity and personal integrity that launched his career in 1984 continue to expand his reach and impact today.

It’s not every Christian artist, after all, who finds himself or herself contributing commentary and opinion to NPR’s “All Things Considered,” “Talk of the Nation,” USA Today, CCM Magazine and the Wall Street Journal. One man gets around, indeed.

The Truth About Charlie

Amy Grant:  “I first had the chance to work with Charlie when he wrote the song “Every Heartbeat” for the "Heart in Motion" album. Brown Bannister was specifically looking for a fun, upbeat shuffle and, no surprise, Charlie delivered. “Every Heartbeat” is a song I still enjoy singing. Charlie and Andi have provided a homebase for a large community of Christian artists here in Nashville. If there is to be a gathering of any kind, whether it’s for the screening of "The Passion of the Christ" with director, Mel Gibson, or a “think session” with Bono over the AIDS in Africa crisis, Charlie is available and willing to facilitate gatherings for prayer, for entertainment, for learning. His heart for service and his amazing life partner, Andi – along with her gifts for caring and communication – have been welcomed ‘glue’ for our community of artists in this town.”