The parish of Saarijärvi was established in 1628. The current church building is the third church of the parish and was completed in 1849. The earlier churches were built in the years 1628 and 1694 on the same isthmus as the present-day building, which was built during the years 1846-49 under the supervision of church builder Jaakko Kuorikoski. The church is a fine example of an Engel cruciform church and was designed prior to 1840 by A. F. Granstedt of the Public Housing Commission (Suomen intendenttikonttori), which was then directed by leading architect C. L. Engel himself. The church represents a masterpiece of building and structural design for its time. The impressive cupola spanning the nave measures 18 metres in diameter. A cupola of such dimensions would normally have required a stone structure and the application of such a cupola structure in a wooden church design was one of the most considerable architectural achievements in Finland in the 1800's. The wooden cupola of Saarijärvi Church remains among the biggest in Finland.