Construction of the original Sta. Teresa de Avila Parish Church started in 1836 and it was completed twelve years later. But, its roof was destroyed by a typhoon in 1877. In 1880, another church was built in 1880 and was finished a year later. Similar to many churches on the island, the Sta. Teresa de Avila Parish Church was made using coral stones. A convent once stood beside the church, but it was destroyed during World War 2 after the Americans bombed the place to flush out any Japanese soldiers hiding in the area.
The Sta. Teresa de Avila Parish Church in Talisay City is one of the few churches in the country with a distinctive Greco-Roman design. One of the unique features of these churches is they have a recessed main entrance and pediment. In the case of the Sta. Teresa de Avila Parish Church, the main entrance is positioned behind two belfries. While there are some churches in the country with a similar design, like an Augustinian church in Bacnotan, La Union and another one in San Luis, Pampanga, the church in Talisay City stands out since it has a covered porch connecting the two bell towers. The porch is supported by two columns.
The Sta. Teresa de Avila Parish Church was declared as an Archdiocesan Shrine by former Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal over a decade ago. According to the former archbishop, a parish church can be declared as a shrine if it meets some of the requirements for the declaration. One of these requirements is that the church should date back to “antiquity,” which means it should be quite old.
The Sta. Teresa de Avila Parish Church is located along Joe Rizal Street, Barangay Poblacion. It shows that the barangay was once the center of the city before the Talsay City Hall was transferred. The old town hall is situated close to the church, which continues to attract churchgoers every Sunday and holy days of obligation among Roman Catholics.