Henry Love allegedly took an 11-year-old boy to the pool of his neighbor and baptized him on July 27 in Deltona, Florida (video below).
Love reportedly told Volusia County deputies that he was "awoken from his sleep by God," who instructed him to baptize the child.
"I don't know why he would have done that," a neighbor, Patty Tutoni, told WKMG. "Baptism is in the church; it's not in your pool. I don't have any answer for him to do that."
Tutoni recalled that she has not had problems with Love, and could not believe the incident happened.
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"Anytime I see him, he's always waving hello," Tutoni added. "[He's a] very conservative neighbor. I love him as my neighbor, to be honest with you."
Deputies said Love dunked the child's head under unsanitary water numerous times and shouted that the boy was being baptized, reports The Daytona Beach News-Journal.
The neighbor who owns the pool told deputies that the boy was wet, and that Love said, "I baptized the kid."
The boy's mother subsequently took him to an urgent care medical center, where a doctor diagnosed the child with an eye and ear infection that could have been caused by unsanitary water.
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The boy told deputies that Love made him take off all of his clothes except for his shorts and threw him in the neighbor's pool, which the child described the as "nasty and green water with bugs in it," according to WKMG.
The mother told law enforcement that she dropped her son at Love's home for summer break, and that Love was supposed to be caring for her child.
Love was arrested and charged with child abuse.
Though Love claims God instructed him to perform the baptism, Christian theologian John MacArthur notes on his website, Grace To You: "Jesus never baptized any children, nobody in the Bible ever baptized any children. Nobody was ever told to baptize children. All children were precious. The children that He held in His hand and blessed were not necessarily the children of believing parents and there is no baptism in any way…in any case anyway."