The present chapel is a new building erected in 1983. At Vilasundet, on a site now dammed over, 1 km south of the present chapel, a priest from Norway built a chapel for the Sami people in 1723.
The northwestern part of Tärna was reckoned to be Norwegian territory until the time of the frontier demarcation of 1751. The chapel was very simple, being built of small birches and having a turf roof about 4 metres square. After the territory became Swedish and Tärna chapel, situated at Gamla Kyrknäset outside the present Tärnaby, was erected in 1762, the isolated Vila chapel was abandoned. For many years afterwards the chapel was used by Sami fishermen for storing their nets.