TULIA, TEXAS – THE MOVIE! – (Will I have a Part?)

I spent 10 years preaching (1992-2002) in the great little community of Tulia, Texas. Tulia is a wonderful little town of about 5000. What a blessing it was to start raising my children there and be a part of such a loving community and church.

While I was there Tulia made national headlines with a single drug bust where 46 people were arrested. Because 36 of them were black, it wasn’t long until the ACLU got involved and made it a “racial” thing instead of a drug thing. When it finally ended years later, those arrested were all pardoned by the Governor, and the wonderful little town of Tulia was left with a black eye but a closer community.

Although I have my opinions, I’m not here to argue about who was right and who was wrong. But I will tell you, I learned that you can’t believe everything you read or watch on the news.

Since the drug bust, the trials and the pardons, a
book has been written about the Tulia incident from a pretty one-sided view. AND NOW? I read today where a movie deal is in the works. Yea, a movie. That is huge. I laughed when I read that they already had Halle Berry and Billy Bob Thornton signed to star in it? Isn’t that amazing?

As I sat and thought about the movie about Tulia it made me wonder who might play me in the movie. You know, if I actually had a part in the movie, “who would play me?” I immediately thought of Brad Pitt or Matthew McConaughey (ha), but really a Tim Allen would probably be a better fit for me. But then I thought, just for fun, I might ask around and see who my family thought should represent me. So, I asked my sweet, loving and encouraging wife and she just died laughing. After regaining control she said, “like you’d really have a part.” So I asked the rest of my family, and they all thought about it and came up with this guy. He would best represent me in a movie. (click here to meet him).

So here’s a cool question: if someone played you in a movie, what actor/actress would you want playing you, AND who would your spouse say should represent you? Also, what kind of movie would you want to be in, a comedy, drama, romance, suspense, western, war or a disaster movie.

And, let’s hope the movie about your life wouldn’t be rated any worse than PG.

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Article by Trey Morgan

I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast. Read 1182 articles by
35 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Mommysmart says:

    Oh, I hope that you are in the movie. Of course, hollywood doesn’t always shine brightly on religion, so maybe I hope that you won’t be in the movie.

  2. Brian Nicklaus says:

    maybe nic cage,
    in a dramedy

  3. TREY MORGAN says:

    Brian … you sure Jim Carey wouldn’t fit you better?

  4. Brian Nicklaus says:

    you know, I am really not a big jim carrey fan?? I don’t like will ferrel that much either. nor david spade.

    adam sandler, I like.

    carrey in truman show and bruce almighty was good, but otherwise, I could do without him.

  5. lisa says:

    What role exactly did you play in the whole drug bust??

  6. TREY MORGAN says:

    I didn’t play a role … I was just speaking figuratively. Now ANSWER the questions.

  7. Brian Nicklaus says:

    i prefer woody allen and groucho

  8. TREY MORGAN says:

    Woody Allen, Halle Berry and Billy Bob Thornton all kind of go together!

  9. lisa says:

    Yeah, I like Barney Fife. That’s a good choice.

    I read that article and I have a question …

    someone actually named their child “Kareem Abdul Jabbar White” ??????

  10. Brian Nicklaus says:

    lisa, you are supposed to pick for yourself, not for Trey…

  11. TREY MORGAN says:

    Maybe she’ll catch on! :)

  12. lisa leichner says:

    No one else did it!

  13. k2 says:

    let’s see, who would i have play me? … maybe cary elwes. he did a great job in ‘princess bride’, btw, that’s my favorite movie. “… anybody want a peanut?”

    my wife would probably say barney. (notice its different from yours)

  14. TREY MORGAN says:

    k2 … I do like the Princess Bride too. Good call. Do you think they really have RES (Rats of Enormous Size)?

  15. Neva says:

    First of all, I have to tell Brian that if he read my profile he would know I am a huge nic cage fan and if he were in it, I would see it–that said
    I would want someone who was a cross between Phyllis Diller(someone with a sense of humor) and Mother Teresa (someone with a heart for God and some moral values) and Sandra Bullock (because I would want to be cute, too) and Sara Evans (because I would want to sing, too) to play me– Hmmmm….lets see who would that be?


  16. lisa says:

    All right, all right. I’ve given it much thought and I would choose … (drumroll, please) … Jennifer Aniston. And I think my husband would agree.

    When you’re done laughing … it’s not ’cause I’m as pretty as she is but I go for the cute thing. I’ve always thought she’s rather cute.

    And it would be a romantic comedy … neither of which I am lacking AT ALL in my life.

    Happy now, Trey & Brian?

  17. Tim Archer says:

    When I saw the file was barney.jpg, I was hoping for a purple dinosaur.

    Grace and peace,

  18. Brian Nicklaus says:

    I had not seen your profile, but cage is good isn’t he, either playing action movies or goofy stuff, he always nails it.

    a cross between phyllis diller and mother teresa? ahhahahahahahahha, that would be awesome. I can just seen an old nun making wisecracks to the outcasts of calcutta.

    my wife wanted to name our daughter rachel and I vetoed it directly because of jennifer aniston and friends.

    and I’m not touching that last comment.

  19. The Preacher's Household: says:

    I would have to go with Sandra Bullock for myself in a dramedy. I am sure James will say who he thinks should play me – I can only imagine.
    I will say that Matt Lower on stilts would make a good fit for James.
    The Barney Fife idea is hillarious and I could see you as a Tim Allen. He’s my favorite you know.
    Say, could some one email me with instructions on how to get a picture to show up on blogger comments?

  20. Gallagher says:

    Who would represent me?

    I say a cross between Kramer from Seinfeld, George’s dad on Seinfeld and Peter Boyle (Ray’s dad) on Everybody Loves Raymond.

    My wife says, “AMEN”

    At least she did not say SlingBlade, ummmm huh

  21. Bobby Cohoon says:

    Hmmmmmmmmm All the great ones are gone. So they’d probably get Sean Connery

  22. The Preacher's Household: says:

    Gallagher, that is a funny combination! But I think that Peter Boyle is dead…


  23. lisa says:

    You’re right, he is, Kathy. I’m emailing you about the picture.

  24. The Preacher's Household: says:

    Trey, Kathy mentioned all her fvorite personalities. I kinda take it as a complement when she compares me with Matt. I must look like him becasue I have had that kind of comment from others. I walked in the bank and the teller said, “I wish I could convince my husband to cut his hair off, but you look like Matt and he thinks he would look like …” That said, I don’t know if I want a tv person playing me in a movie.

    Genre, either a comedy where Eric Idle plays my part or a docudrama with a guy women think is good looking like Brad Pitt. The goal of my life would be among other thing doing something worthy of making a docudrama movie of. So far it is a little too boring. The comedy is easier. crazy thing happen regularly.

    Sandra Bullock is good choice for Kathy. If it were an educational documentary someone ‘Mary Poppins’ esque most days would be good. She is great with the kids.

    Neva, did you say someone with wild hair like Phyliss Diller, quiet like Mother Terresa and a singer. Is this going to be one of those movies that goes with reality or fiction?

  25. Anonymous says:

    Just a quick check in…

    Who would I pick to play me? Meg Ryan in a drama or romance :)

    My family would probably say Deborah, from Everybody Loves Raymond (can’t remember her real name at the moment).


  26. Brian Nicklaus says:

    patricia heaton played deborah on raymond

  27. TREY MORGAN says:

    Neva … I’m picturing Glen Close in 101 Dalmations. Cruella Devil. That’s the only Phillis Diller picture I can get.

    Gallaher … love the Kramer reference. I believe Bobby wants the accent.

    How about this guy: http://www.cinemapassion.com/affiches/bean.jpg

    Anyone want to admit they don’t want him playing your part?

  28. The Preacher's Household: says:

    I thought that he was the Bean you were talking about… how about Borrat?
    Were you asking about Bean with someone in mind?
    Neva, who would play Ned?

  29. Mommysmart says:

    Don’t forget about:


    You can match your photo up with celebrities. I always get matched up with Kate Winslet. If she were to play me in a movie she may have to throw some southern drawl into that english accent of hers.

  30. Neva says:

    Okay–James–you are so mean, kinda makes me wonder why I love you at all. You know it would have to be a comedy–you know my life!
    Although it makes some cry, I laugh a lot.

    Trey–not Cruella Devil, I would never have that many dogs in one coat. :)

    As far as Ned goes, I married him because he has the same initials as Nicolas Cage. I digress—he is Uncle Buck mixed in with a little bit of Bruce Willis (he wants to blow everything up)

    Monica, do you think celebrities have websites that have pics of normal people and they have their assistants enter their photos and find out what normal people they look like? :)


  31. TREY MORGAN says:

    Monica … I tried it and still came out Barney Fife! :)

  32. k2 says:

    if sean connery played me, my wife would definitely come watch it at the theater and buy it on dvd to watch it over and over and over …

    she likes sean. she says he’s the only good bond actor. i like sean and roger both.

  33. Paula Harrington says:

    Love the barney pic!!

  34. TREY MORGAN says:

    Eric, I’m really not too worried about people reading this because this post is so old. I don’t have anything to hide. I was there for the whole sad ordeal. But let me say first, rule number one in not having your comments deleted … kindness, not mean-spirited!

    I appreciate your comments and opinions. Were you in Tulia when all of it went down or were you already in Chicago? I must say if you were not in Tulia when it took place, then you missed much of the story that the media didn’t want to share. There is more to this story than you know. Feel free to email me if you’d like. I’d love to visit with you more about it. Thanks for taking the time to comment.


  35. Eric Clayton says:

    In the spirit of kindness, I will try to say the same exact thing that I said before in the posts you deleted.
    While I think it’s fun to ponder who would play me in a movie, to bring it up in reference to the Tulia affair just seems in bad taste. I mean, 36 people were wrongly sent to prison, families were wrecked, homes and jobs were lost, and it just strikes me as flippant to then joke around or discuss in a light-hearted way who would play you in a movie. Post the question, yes, but leave the corruption of Tulia out of it. That seems more respectful of the Tulia folks.
    When I found out about the story some years after it happened (I don’t read the papers or listen to the news, because, as you said, the media can’t be trusted) the first question that came to my mind was “Where was the Church?” The scriptures specifically talks about justice for the oppressed, giving voice to the voiceless, and taking care of widows and orphans. When I read your blog above, I felt sick, because I thought, “You were there, and you didn’t do anything”.
    I know you didn’t post your blog to discuss Tulia, but since you mentioned it, I felt it was appropriate to respond, especially since we are both Christians. I am challenging you to rethink the whole thing. Search your heart and make sure that you didn’t come up with a verdict before those people went to trial. Were they guilty in your mind? And if so, on what evidence? Do you really trust Tom Coleman, a man who was later found out to be a low-rent-a-cop that lied and stole? Do you think that when Larry Stewart found out that Coleman had a warrant out, that he should have removed him from his “undercover” work? Indeed, should he not have done more extensive background checks before he even hired the guy?
    These are some of the questions I have. I don’t think that this is much kinder than what I wrote before, because, in different words, I’m implicating you and anyone else who stood by and did nothing while people were convicted of crimes they did not commit, on evidence of one man, without corroboration, without video, without audio, without photographs, and few additional witnesses. These people were shipped off at 5 am, to jails a hundred miles away where they couldn’t even communicate about what had happened. They were paraded in front of the media (who you said you didn’t trust) in their underwear, and called “Garbage” in the Tulia Sentinel. Does any of this seem “kind” to you? Does letting it happen without doing anything seem like the Love that Jesus would show? Does it seem like “Innocent until proven guilty”? It doesn’t to me.
    I appreciate that you offered dialog via email, and I sent you an email so we can continue talking in private. I do however hope you will leave this post on your blog, so that nothing is hidden.
    “There is nothing covered which will not be seen openly, and nothing has been made secret which will not come to light.” Mark 4:22
    Eric Clayton
    Chicago, former resident of Tulia from 1981 to 1988.
    PS When I mentioned James Woods in Ghosts of Mississippi, I was hoping that if you had seen the movie, you would see how the hatred of one man wrecked a family and a community, and if you haven’t seen it, you will watch the movie, and search your heart to make sure you don’t have that kind of spirit in there. Because while these folks in Tulia weren’t killed, their lives were wrecked, and the children are going to be scarred for life. Not much has changed in this country. Not as much as we’d like to tell ourselves.

About Me

Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

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