Ella Payne, formerly Williams, is the matriarch of the family. She is the wife of Curtis Payne, the mother of Calvin Payne, Aunt of C.J. Payne and great-aunt of his children, the aunt-in-law of Janine Payne and grandmother of Calvin's children. Her mother is named Eunice Williams and is ill. Ella usually tries to act as the voice of reason in the family, and tries to keep everyone on the right track. At first she is the typical church going housewife tending to the family's needs, but let gets a job at the mall after a money dispute with her husband. Her best friend is Claretha. Ella is played by Cassi Davis.In season 7 she adopted a kid named Dashawn.
Ella is a devout Christian woman who strives to please God at all means necessary. Unlike her husband, Ella tries to always be nice to everyone, but when someone makes her angry, she will show her anger towards them. Ella is also a very passionate woman, and she is very gifted. Ella is often seen as the one who holds the Payne family together and comforts them through troubling times. Ella is also like a mentor and a teacher towards her husband because she teaches him how to love others with the love of God.
Ella loves her family and unlike Curtis, always tries to be nice towards them. She often urges Curtis to be nice to the rest of the family as well. Ella is especially nice to her son Calvin and her nephew C. J. She often treats C.J. as if he was her son, and she treats Janine as if she was her daughter. In fact, when Janine was trying to recover from her drug addiction, she was there with her to lead her, guide her, comfort her, and pray for her until she got better. Ella is usually regarded as a symbol of God's love on the show.