We first hear of the Karise Church in the legend of Mrs. Marthe. Her property, Karisegaard, was destroyed by Wendish pirates. Mrs. Marthe fled into a chamber over the arch of the Karise church and remained there until her property was reconstructed.
In the will of Peder Olufsen of Karise from the year 1261 he donated 12 Marks for the inauguration of "my church in Karise". Among the will executors are no less than the Archbishop of Lund and the Bishop of Roskilde. He bequeaths "all boats, which I have lying in the same city" to the Nikolai Church in Copenhagen. Peder Olufsen made a crusade vow, which he redeemes himself with 100 silver Marks. His will hangs, translated into today's Danish, in the Karise Church.
The church, which was inaugurated in the year 1261, was - which is very rare - built as a fortress. But the church was also close to several watercourses, which were passable at this time.
Between 1766-69 the tomb chapel of the Moltke family was built at the side of the church, which lay central to the properties of the family.