- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 7, 2006

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A fisherman who found a bag of 300 letters to God, many addressed to a New Jersey minister, floating in the ocean off Atlantic City will give most of them to the late clergyman’s daughter.

Bill Lacovara, an insurance adjuster, found the letters in a shopping bag in the surf under a pier last month. They included everything from a man asking God to let him win the lottery to a teen asking for forgiveness for an abortion.

About 150 of the letters were too damaged by the water to be legible. He placed the remaining ones up for auction on EBay, but canceled the auction after more than 25 bidders pushed the price past $550.

Mr. Lacovara said Monday that he plans to give the letters to Vanessa Cooper, daughter of the Rev. Grady Cooper, a former associate pastor of the Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Jersey City, who died nearly two years ago.

According to the text in several letters, they were intended to be placed on a church’s altar and prayed over by the minister, the congregation or both.

It’s still not clear how the letters, some dating to 1973 and most unopened, ended up in the ocean.

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