(1) In general. If a church or association or convention of churches acquires real property, for the principal purpose of using the land in the exercise or performance of its exempt purpose, commencing within 15 years of the time of acquisition, such property shall not be treated as debt-financed property so long as the organization does not abandon its intent to use the land in such a manner within the 15-year period.
(2) Exception. This paragraph shall not apply to any property after the expiration of the 15-year period. Further, this paragraph shall apply after the first 5 years of the 15-year period only if the church or association or convention of churches establishes to the satisfaction of the Commissioner that use of the acquired land in furtherance of the organization's exempt purpose before the expiration of the 15-year period is reasonably certain. For purposes of the preceding sentence, the rules contained in paragraph (d)(1)(iii) of this section with respect to satisfying the Commissioner that the exempt organization intends to use the land within the prescribed time in furtherance of its exempt purpose shall apply.
(3) Actual use. If the church or association or convention of churches for the period after the first 5 years of the 15-year period is unable to establish to the satisfaction of the Commissioner that the use of the acquired land for its exempt purpose within the 15-year period is reasonably certain, but such land is in fact converted to an exempt use within the 15-year period, the land (subject to the provisions of paragraph (d)(4) of this section) shall not be treated as debt-financed property for any period prior to such conversion.
(4) Limitations. The limitations stated in paragraph (d)(3)(i) and (ii) of this section shall similarly apply to the rules contained in this paragraph.