Skip to main content

It's the thought that counts

Over a hundred years ago, on a corner in a small town at the edge of The Empire, a large Arts and Crafts home was built. After it had aged for seventy years to an architectural ripeness it became The Big Haus, and as such, a small part of the Kingdom of God and His Christ. From the beginning this Haus has been devoted to the pursuit of Peace in the ultimate virtues that Christianity provides to life and mind. In that Peace it is a fine place to rest, and while at rest, to think about resting. There you can lay your hands on this Peace, understand it, and smile back at it when it smiles at you. Heck, you can see it from the front porch, taste it at dinner, and pursue it, with a more mental hunger, across the landscape of some conversation.

So, if you want insight, and if you can get here (that isn’t so easy), come by for a visit. You can join us for a weekend, a week, or a semester or two. We’ll talk about stuff. Stuff we’ve thought long and hard about. Because, as you know from the headline, and you’ll know after you leave, at The Big Haus, it’s the thought that counts.

Evan and Leslie Wilson All but the oldest of the Kids The Wilson Men The Extended Family Evan and Leslie with cigar on the Palouse

Evan, Leslie, & Family

Evan Wilson was born in 1954 and is the second son of Jim and Bessie Wilson. His childhood in Annapolis, Maryland was spent in a home devoted to the Kingdom of Heaven—a home where the Scriptures were the authority for attitudes and actions. He never had reason to doubt the truth of the Gospel, though he fought it off until he was eight years old when the pressure of his sins drove him to his knees in his bedroom.

Those early years were churched but never churchy. The Wilson home was regularly filled with Naval Academy midshipmen or the beatniks of St. John's College. This provided Evan a strong example of the benefits of Christian hospitality centered on the Word of God and wise Christian counsel.

In 1968 the Wilson family moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan to open an evangelistic bookstore for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. The pattern of their home was still open, this time to the students of the University of Michigan, both believers and unbelievers. Evan had an opportunity to witness his parents patiently extending themselves to those in need. After three years Evan's parents moved to Moscow, Idaho to open evangelistic bookstores at the University of Idaho and the neighboring Washington State University. Evan enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was stationed at a base in southern California. It was there that he met Leslie Rye.

Leslie Rye was born in 1957 and was raised in the desert of the Imperial Valley in southern California. Her home was a clean, orderly place, which, like that of Evan's family, was given to much hospitality. She was well loved by her parents. The family was very stable, but had no religious affiliation.

Early in high school Leslie claimed to be an atheist, like her father. She didn't think she needed to be religious in order to be good, and she truly valued being good. In her junior year she expressed some concern about a family member's behavior to a friend. The friend invited her to church. Leslie attended the church for a few weeks, and after one evening service she went forward during the altar call, but knew nothing about the gospel. In the weeks that followed she attended the church's New Members Class, where the gospel was laid out and fully explained. During that time Leslie came to understand that she was a sinner in need of forgiveness, and gave her life to the Lord one night - on her own in her room.

About a year and a half later she started attending Bible studies at the Navy Base, led by Evan Wilson.

In 1977 Evan was honorably discharged and moved back to Moscow to attend the University of Idaho as a Fine Arts major. He encouraged Leslie to consider changing schools (which she did) and they were engaged in November of '77. During the summer after his first year of college Evan and Leslie got married and moved into a small two bedroom house. Almost immediately they began extending hospitality, featuring Leslie's talents as a hostess and cook, and Evan's desire to minister to others in conversation.

After that first year of marriage Leslie graduated from the University with a degree in Education. Another year found Evan and Leslie thinking aggressively about building on their desire to minister out of their home. The Lord provided one of the biggest houses in town, which was far beyond their economic resources, and they moved into the Big Haus in 1980 with their first nine residents. In 1981, after a year in the Haus, Evan, now a History major, graduated.

Since that day they have raised four children—Davis, Michal, Graeme, and Gunn—all walking with the Lord, with over 300 college and career Haus residents passing through and looking on.

The Gospel

the "I Am", the Almighty God,
maker of Heaven and Earth,
the Most High and the Most Holy,
He exists and He rewards those who seek Him.

Every man has [You have] sinned against this Holy God.

This God will judge every man [you] justly for what he has [you have] done.

What every man has [you have] done deserves destruction.

Man [You] can do nothing to save himself [yourself]
from the wrath of the Almighty.

God, out of His love and mercy
in accordance with what He had spoken
through His prophets in the Scriptures,
sent (as Father) Himself (as Son)
to be born in the likeness of man,
Jesus the Christ, who,
after leading a sinless and holy life,
was put to death on a cross
as a sacrifice for man's [your] sin.

But Death,
also in accordance with the Scriptures,
could not hold the Christ, and
after three days Jesus rose from the dead.
After appearing to many,
He ascended into Heaven.

Any who [If you] believe these things,
and turning from their [your] sins,
call on the Name of the Lord Jesus
for forgiveness,
God will not destroy
and will give, in this World,
a new nature by His Holy Spirit,
and in the next,
by the resurrection of the dead,
Eternal Life.


“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Big Haus Society Resident Handbook


We are thankful for your consideration of the Big Haus for a Christian living environment. Since 1980, we have tried to be a spiritual and practical service to the saints who both work and go to school in Moscow, Idaho. As the decades have gone by, we have referred to a broad base of standards we hold to as “our understandings”. We inform every resident of them as they move in, but everyone’s memory is not what it should be. Sometimes we forget to bring up a topic during an interview, and sometimes a resident fails to listen. We needed to have it all summed up and written down so that everyone—from parents or potential residents to forgetful long termers—could refer to an objective standard.

Hence this handbook.

Hospitality Hospitality Hospitality Hospitality Hospitality


We have guest rooms available when we do not have a seminar scheduled. Please feel free to contact us regarding availability. While we don't charge for guests we do accept donations. Guest visits have allowed us to enjoy getting to know a broader array of people. We cannot promise that we would be entirely available for interacting during your stay, but we can let you know our schedule at a time closer to the date of your planned visit. We inform our guests what meals will be available during their stay, and for planning purposes, we ask that our guests let us know which of those meals they will attend. Given our lack of charging for Guests, we are presuming this is a "weekend" visit. If you wish to stay longer you must make arrangements with us that will include certain costs.

Contact us

(208) 882-4885

(208) 301-4884

Haus mailing address
325 N. Polk
Moscow, Idaho  83843

Getting here

Flying in to Moscow/Pullman Airport (PUW) 15 minutes from the Big Haus
Alaska Airlines

Flying into Lewiston, Idaho (LWS) 45 minutes from the Big Haus
Alaska Airlines
Delta Airlines

Flying into Spokane, Washington (GEG) 1 hour and 45 minutes from the Big Haus
Alaska Airlines
American Airlines
Delta Airlines
Soutwest Airlines
United Airlines



Guide to Moscow

Moscow, ID

The Moscow Chamber Events Calendar

City of Moscow

The University of Idaho

The Latah County Historical Society