A diocesan stewardship education project, it was born through a conversation between the Rev. William A. Yon, program director for Alabama and the Rt. Rev. Furman C. Stough, then Bishop of Alabama, in the spring of 1969. Their task was to come up with a grass roots plan for increasing pledges in a continuing growth pattern for a sustained period of time. The Alabama Plan makes it clear that it is designed for the "Christians who wish to become tithers, but cannot do so immediately." It was begun with four pilot projects in 1969 and 1970. The foundation of the plan is a theological statement of stewardship worked through by the vestry and the diocesan council, upon which the following building blocks are laid: thorough plan of action, theological purpose, adequate and committed staff, a staff-training program, and a purposeful publicity and educational program. The history of the Alabama Plan indicates that any congregation which conscientiously involves itself in the process can expect an increase in the number of its pledges and an increase in the amount of its pledged income as well as other less tangible but not less positive effects. Two important factors for success are recognized: a congregation must provide strong, open, committed leadership; and it must be able to assure that at least one-fourth of its membership will actively participate in the process.