The Suure-Jaani parish stretches over the area which at the end of Estonian Antiquity had Lembitu’s stronghold in Lõhavere as its centre. Lembitu was a famous leader of an ancient Estonian county during the Ancient War of Independence.
The church built in the middle of the 13th century consisted of the choir, the three-part nave and the steeple, possibly the first steeple in Estonia. The church got its present appearance from 1869 to 1872. Today, only few medieval details can be seen. Interesting to know: In the room under the steeple, there is a cross from the graveyard with the name Anne Ratecep and the year 1598 written on it. According to the legend, Anne washed and clothed the ones who had died of plague during the Livonian War. For that, the people dedicated a cross to her.